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For Apple, best numbers yet, mixed press on how it got there

We talk record breaking earnings, and reports of trouble in Apple's supply chain that made that possible, in this week's edition of Apple Talk Weekly.

There wasn't a product launch to be seen, but Apple had one of its biggest news-making weeks yet.

That came in the form of what can only be described as a monster earnings report, with Apple breaking its own records, and those set by other companies.

Apple's first fiscal quarter of 2012 was its most profitable, and once again put it within spitting distance of Exxon Mobil to be the world's most valuable company by market cap. Perhaps something that's actually more easily understandable is the fact that the company sold more than 37 million iPhones in less than three months, surpassing in daily sales the number of human beings born on earth.

It wasn't all sunshine and daisies though. An exhaustive report by The New York Times this week lambasted Apple for its role in the global tech supply chain, focusing specifically on worker labor and particularly cut-throat business practices. Read on to find out more about that and other stories in this week's edition of Apple Talk Weekly.

Apple Talk Weekly is a collection of some of the week's top Apple news and rumors. It appears every Saturday, and is curated by CNET's Apple reporter, Josh Lowensohn.


Apple has its biggest quarter ever
Apple posted its best quarter ever, reporting revenue of $46.44 billion, and profits of $13.06 billion. Those record numbers came with the biggest sales ever of the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The star of the show was the iPhone, with this being the first quarter to include sales of the iPhone 4S. Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones, heartily surpassing the 30 million analysts were expecting. There are many more numbers to crunch from the report, which we've done here.


Apple's supply tactics under fire
The New York Times ran a two-part series this week on the tech supply chain, with one story dedicated to harsh working conditions at one of Apple's component suppliers in China. Apple did not respond to the report in the press, though a memo from Tim Cook that leaked on Thursdayargued that "any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us."

Motorola sues Apple over iPhone 4S, iCloud
A new lawsuit, filed this week by Motorola claims Apple is infringing on six of the company's patents with two of its latest product offerings: the iPhone 4S and iCloud. In the suit--Motorola's second against Apple using the same patents--the company makes the case that Apple has infringed and continues to infringe on those patents, and is seeking damages and an injunction of the two products.

Dutch court dismisses Apple's attempt to get Samsung's Tab banned
Apple's attempt to keep Samsung's Galaxy Tab from being sold in the Netherlands was put on ice this week. A Dutch court dismissed an appeal by Apple, falling in line with a lower court decision from August of last year.

German court tosses second Samsung suit against Apple
One of Samsung's lawsuits against Apple in Germany was rejected by a German court this week. Samsung had sued Apple saying the company was infringing on its patents related to 3G wireless technology in its mobile products, including the iPhone.

Apple to reward employees with hefty product discounts
Following Apple's record-breaking quarter, Tim Cook told employees that they'd be getting deeper discounts on two of the company's most expensive products. In an internal meeting, the details of which were chronicled by 9to5mac, Cook announced that employees would be getting $500 discounts on new Macs, and $250 discounts on iPads.

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs showing off the iPad for the first time in 2010. The device turned two years old this week.
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs showing off the iPad for the first time in 2010. The device turned two years old this week. James Martin/CNET)

Apple's iPad turns 2
Two years ago this week Apple took the wraps off its first iPad. We take you down memory lane, looking back at what some original pundits and CNET readers thought about the gadget that's gone on to be Apple's next big hit.

New book on Apple promises to unveil company's secrets
Fortune journalist Adam Lashinsky's book called "Inside Apple" was released this week, promising to unearth a deep look at Apple operations. Among the details to be pulled out of the title were that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sought out a potential deal with camera maker Lytro, one that never came to fruition. Other stories from the book leaked out earlier this month include how Apple frequently re-arranges its insides for new projects, and has a dedicated room to designing and testing packaging.


iPhone 5 coming in summer with 4-inch screen
You might have thought we were in the heat of iPad 3 rumor reason, but this week was host to an honest-to-goodness iPhone 5 rumor. Citing a "reliable source at Foxconn in China," Apple-focused blog 9to5Mac this week claimed Apple's got a handful of sample devices for the next iPhone "floating around," and that based on previous production scheduling, the company could be looking to release a new model this summer. The blog also notes some changes on these samples compared to previous iPhone models including a 4-inch (or larger) display, and a form factor that looks unlike the current iPhone 4 and 4S with a "longer/wider" appearance.

Apple spent more than $100 million on legal fees against HTC
Apple's legal expenses are assuredly quite high, but did the company really spend $100 million in legal fees just on a spat with gadget maker HTC? That's a reasonable figure according to Dan Lyons, who posted the rumored amount he got from a source. Apple went after HTC in 2010, filing complaints with the International Trade Commission, with HTC returning fire.

Apple gearing up for first retail store in the Netherlands
Apple's in the midst of reading its first retail store in the Netherlands, with reports this week suggesting the company is ready to open it up on February 18. The store is notable not only for being the first in the region, but also for being yet another one of the company's installations in a historic location.