Apple and Microsoft’s “patent exploitation” pact, plus 4 other Apple stories to read today

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With so many people writing about Apple, finding the best stories and reports isn’t easy. Here’s our daily pick of stories about the company from around the Web that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Wired gets an in-depth look at Rockstar Consortium, the group that grew out of the companies that banded together to buy Nortel’s patent portfolio last year. The member companies include Apple, RIM, Microsoft, Sony and Ericsson. According to Wired, Rockstar is a “pure patent exploitation operation funded by all of the winning bidders except EMC.”
  • Apple’s iPhone may carry a high cost for carriers — in the form of subsidies paid to Apple — but the return they get in the form of new customers and upgrades is worth it. AllThingsD breaks down a research note from BMO Capital analyst Keith Bachman.
  • Computerworld connects the dots between Apple CEO Tim Cook’s earlier observations about the market for prepaid phones in developing regions and an analyst note this week that suggests Apple might make the iPhone 3GS available without contract at a lower price in emerging markets.
  • Cook tops The Wall Street Journal’s list of the highest-paid CEOs, thanks to his grant of a million stock options last fall and an ascendant Apple stock price.
  • Apple and Foxconn sent in third-party auditors to Chinese factories that produce the iPhone and iPad, and promised to jointly improve working conditions. But, as CBS reports, the group behind the “ethical iPhone” protests earlier this year isn’t satisfied and plans to keep acting as watchdog on iPhone production safety and ethics issues.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Ioan Sameli

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