Technology

What's Up With Apple: Australia's AirTag Warning, Apple Watch Update and More

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Tuesday issued a warning to parents to keep Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently released AirTags away from young children. AirTags are small Bluetooth tracking devices that can help people locate misplaced or lost items like keys or wallets, and they are powered by lithium-ion batteries.

The ACCC is worried that the device’s battery compartment is too easily accessible to children and that the battery could be removed easily. According to the agency, three children have died and 44 other children in the country have been “severely injured” in “incidents involving button batteries in other products.” No AirTag-related deaths or injuries have been reported.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard commented:

We were also concerned that the outer product packaging does not have any warning about the presence and dangers of button batteries, and we note that Apple has now added a warning label to the AirTag’s packaging. However, this alone does not address our fundamental concerns about children being able to access the button batteries in these devices.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Apple executives discussed the coming release of Watch OS 8 and the software’s capability to maintain digital ID cards that could one day lead to digital driver’s licenses and digital home and car keys. People also will need compatible locks. Deirdre Caldbeck, director of product marketing for Apple Watch noted: “This is kind of our vision for eventually replacing the physical wallet where you just have everything you need … right on your wrist.”

Not everyone is thrilled. The American Civil Liberties Union, in a report published in May, commented: “A digital system could enhance user privacy and control if done right — but it could also become an infrastructure for invading privacy and increasing the leverage and control of government agencies and companies over individuals.”

Now that LG Electronics has exited the smartphone business, the company reportedly wants to sell Apple Watches, iPhones and iPads in its 400 retail stores. The idea does not sit well with the Korea Commission for Corporate Partnership, a private group dedicated to creating a fair and transparent market for companies of all sizes. The group noted that it and LG signed an agreement in 2018 in which the company “pledged to strive for co-prosperity with small players in the industry,” according to a report at Patently Apple. Selling Apple products does not appear to further the goal of not competing with smaller smartphone makers.

Finally, Facebook on Monday added to the ranks of U.S. publicly traded companies with market caps above $1 trillion. Shares closed up about 4.2% at $355.64, following a federal judge’s dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and 46 state attorneys general. Facebook’s market cap at Monday’s closing bell was about $1.01 trillion.