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Latest Apple News

February 24, 2012 by staff 

Latest Apple News, Apple Inc.’s shareholders are a pretty smug and happy bunch.  Upon entering the company’s campus to get to the annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, they had to drive past a small protest, where some people carried signs asking

Apple  AAPL +0.65% to make “ethical iPhones,” a reference to harsh labor practices of its contract manufacturers in China, which have been recently getting more scrutiny by both the press and the company.

But not a question was asked by a single shareholder about what Apple has been doing with its contract manufacturers. Just last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told investors at a technology conference that the company was doing more to improve working conditions than any other manufacturer and the company will not tolerate use of underage labor. The company has also published a more detailed audit of its recent findings on its website. Read more about supplier responsibility at Apple.

And the big cash question? With Apple sitting on a pile that is nearing $100 billion, including marketable securities, it has been a constant question from Wall Streetanlysts. One shareholder who spoke up said he did not believe the company should pay a regular cash dividend, and advised that one use for some of its cash could be to improve iTunes to make it more competitive with rival video offerings. Cook reminded the shareholder that Apple makes its profits by selling devices, and that it doesn’t make much money in content delivery.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Another shareholder was so excited to speak to Apple executives, he said speaking to them was on his “bucket list.” He said he had recently purchased a new 55-inch LG TV to watch the Superbowl, and said he has 60 days to return it. “Should I return it? he asked Cook, in the hopes of getting him to talk about the much-rumored Apple TV. Cook deadpanned that of course he cannot comment on what Apple is doing, but he advised the shareholder to spend $99 for the current Apple TV product, which will make his LG TV “infinitely better.”

Shareholders didn’t seem too disappointed that the company had no news about what it will be doing with its growing cash pile. The first shareholder reminded the group that co-founder Steve Jobs was not a proponent of paying dividends, and he recommended the company pay a special, preferred stock dividend.

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