Apple paying out to US suppliers


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Apple doled out more than $3B to over 7,000 US suppliers in 2013 — After announcing cooperation with the White House’s SupplierPay initiative, Apple on Friday released domestic supply chain expenditure figures for the first time, saying it spent more than US$3 billion with over 7000 US suppliers last year.

The numbers, along with some backstory on the small company responsible for the Mac Pro’s aluminum enclosure, were revealed in a statement provided to TechCrunch following SVP of Operations Jeff Williams’ meeting with President Barack Obama over the “SupplierPay” initiative.

Surprising sales in emerging markets keep Mac growth ahead of PC market — Sales growth for Apple’s Mac platform has outpaced the PC market for the 31st time in the past 32 quarters, keeping the trend alive. But surprisingly, Apple’s premium-priced computers were actually driven by growth in emerging markets like China and Latin America last quarter, new data shows (chart, above, from Needham & Co).

Expensive lunch for charity — Apple fans have another chance at a sit-down with a member of the company’s senior leadership, as internet software and services chief Eddy Cue has put one hour of his time up for auction — and sweetened the pot with a 13-inch MacBook Air — in the Fortune 500 equivalent of a charity dunk tank.

Background removal tool — Who hasn’t struggled with knocking out the background of a photo in Photoshop? Zooming in, finely tuning your tool to be the proper size and then frustratingly highlighting the areas you want to save or delete—what a pain! PhotoScissors 1.1 seeks to eliminate the hassle by providing a simple background removal tool. Macworld reviews it.

Nine things everyone should know how to do with a spreadsheet — Rob Griffiths thinks that as a Mac user, you’ve got plenty of choices among spreadsheet apps, but for most of us the choice comes down to three: Microsoft’s Excel 2011; Apple’s Numbers (version 3.2); and the browser-based Sheets section of Google Docs. Here are 9 things you should be able to do with any spreadsheet you have, although he specifies Numbers and Excel.