The Washington Post

The Circuit: iPhone event, Facebook’s Sparapani leaves, tech industry supports FTAs

LEADING THE DAY: Apple is holding an iPhone event in its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters today, where it is expected to reveal at least one new model of the iPhone. While no features of the phone have been confirmed, it is expected that the handset will include voice navigation that will allow users to control their phones by speaking commands.

The event will also be a test for new chief executive Tim Cook, who will have to convince Apple watchers that the company’s culture of innovation continues on after Apple chairman and co-founder Steve Jobs’ decision to resign as CEO in August.

Facebook’s Sparapani: Tim Sparapani, one of Facebook’s early D.C. hires, has left the company. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement that Sparapani “decided to transition out of the company last month” to pursue new opportunities.

Sparapani joined the company in 2009. He had been a former adversary of the company, coming from the American Civil Liberties Union as a fierce privacy advocate.

FTA’s to Congress: Technology groups are calling on Congress to approve the free trade agreements the White House has sent to South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Tech groups say they will benefit particularly from the Korean agreement. The agreement’s provisions on electronic commerce provisions and government procurement will “contribute toward the National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years,” said the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

Children’s privacy hearing Wed.: The House Energy and Commerce subpanel on commerce, manufacturing and trade will hold a hearing on the Federal Trade Commissions recent proposal to revise its Children’s Online Privacy Protection rule. The subpanel will examine whether the current rule, established in 1998, needs to revisited in light of how technology has changed.

Sprint’s iPhone gamble: Sprint is widely expected to be getting access to the iPhone this month — something its customers have been clamoring for since the handset launched in 2007. According to a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal citing “people familiar with the matter,” the company is  finally securing the ability to sell iPhones by committing to a very high price: $20 billion, or about 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years. The company will reportedly be subsidizing the cost of each handset by about $500. Even if Sprint does see success with as an iPhone carrier, the report said that Sprint Nextel chief executive Daniel Hesse told the Sprint board that the company expects to lose money on the deal through 2014.

When asked about the report, Sprint spokesman John Taylor said that the company does not “comment on rumor or speculation.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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