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Friday Apple Rumors: CEO Refutes Reports of Labor Abuse by Manufacturing Partners

Also, AAPL passes Samsung, again, as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor


daily apple rumors AAPLHere are your Apple rumors and AAPL stock items for today.

CEO Tim Cook Strikes Back at Poor Labor Practice Accusations: While Apple has spent much of this week basking in the warm glow of its stellar fourth-quarter earnings, the company also has been battling accusations that it has ignored inhumane labor conditions at Chinese manufacturing facilities operated by its production partners like Foxconn (NYSE:FXCNY). A series of New York Times reports published throughout the week have painted the Cupertino, Calif., company in grim light, especially after unnamed former executives joined the chorus claiming, “We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on. Why? Because the system works for us.” Apple CEO Tim Cook responded now, telling Apple employees that, as a company “defined by our values,” these accusations are false and Apple is “attacking problems aggressively.” The email goes on to cite Apple’s newly formed partnership with the Fair Labor Association as a positive step toward blocking some of the worst human rights violations at factories. The email was reprinted on Apple Insider.

Apple Overtakes Samsung Again as World’s Largest Smartphone Vendor: The tug of war between Apple and its rival Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) continues. The Korean company surpassed Apple as the leading smartphone manufacturer in 2011, shipping 97.4 million smartphones across the year compared to Apple’s 93 million. A study conducted by research firm Strategy Analytics released on Thursday said that Apple’s slight lead over Samsung in the fourth quarter—Apple shipped 37 million iPhones over the holiday quarter while Samsung shipped 36.5 million—signals the beginning of a shift back in Apple’s favor. The iPhone 5, expected out later this year, will be strong artillery in Apple’s fight to stay king of the smartphone hill.

Analyst Says in One in Five Employees Use Apple at Work: A Thursday report from Forrester Research (via 9 to 5 Mac) said that Apple’s stature amongst businesses continues to grow. A poll of 10,000 IT workers in North America and Western Europe, including 3,350 managerial employees in charge of equipment purchasing, revealed that 21% use at least one Apple device at work. The study shows a dramatic increase in Apple’s presence inside businesses where Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows has dominated for years. What’s more, Forrester found that 46% of businesses polled issue Mac computers for employees, compared to just 36% in 2010. Meanwhile, 27% of those polled have been issued iPads by their employers and 37% have been issued iPhones. This is in addition to the Apple devices privately owned by employees that are used for work.

As of this writing, Anthony John Agnello did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Follow him on Twitter at @ajohnagnello and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. For more from the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.


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