June 14, 2012

June 7, 2012

Following reports in March from Chinese news websites that claimed Apple planned to integrate Baidu as a search engine in iOS, Bloomberg reported today that sources indicated the feature could be announced as soon as next week. Apple is set to kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to add Baidu Inc. (BIDU)’s search engine on iPhones in China, part of a push to broaden its services and user base in the world’s most-populous nation, according to two people with knowledge of the matter…The agreement to add Baidu, China’s largest search engine, to the lineup of Web tools on the iPhone could be announced as early as next week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

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March 26, 2012

Reports are surfacing in China that claim Apple plans to integrate Baidu into iOS next month as the country’s possible default search function.

According to Chinese news website Sina Tech (machine-translation):

Sina Technology News on March 26 morning news, according to informed sources, Apple iOS operating system next month will be formally introduced Baidu search, Baidu and Apple between cooperation component in the China region.

Google’s Susan Creighton revealed last fall that two-thirds of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s mobile search comes from Apple iOS devices.

Meanwhile, recent speculation claims Apple is moving to an in-house Mapping solution that would replace Google Maps. The firm also recently removed its publish to YouTube option in QuickTime for Mountain lion. If these latest rumors deem true, Apple’s move to Baidu would further indicate a significant effort to reduce Google’s presence in iOS.

With that said, the move to Baidu might be more than a snub to Google. As SearchEngineLand noted, Baidu holds 80 percent of the search market in China, and it would make sense for the Chinese to carry the same search on their mobile devices as they have on their desktop.

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September 24

AAPL: 115.00

Stock Chart

Apple has named the top 25 apps infected by the XcodeGhost malware, stating that “the number of impacted users drops significantly” for other compromised apps. Most security researchers now agree that the total number of infected apps is in or around four figures, with many of them still present in China’s App Store …  expand full story

April 22

According to a report from Bloomberg, Nokia is targeting Apple as a potential buyer for its maps business. Nokia has recently been trying to sell its HERE Maps division due to it losing revenue. The report claims that Nokia is seeking around $3.2 billion for its maps business. Nokia first bought the mapping assets in 2008 for $8.1 billion.

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January 20

Update: Apple has posted a version of the video with English subtitles on YouTube (embedded above).

Apple is certainly not thinking small when it comes to China, with 25 new retail stores promised within a two-year period, and its latest soon-to-open store in Hangzhou features a massive mural covering the entire front of the store. The store is due to open on Saturday, January 24th, the second of five new stores Angela Ahrendts said would be opening by the Chinese New Year on February 19th.

Featuring a poem written around 2000 years ago celebrating the importance of the city—a provincial capital—the stunning calligraphy was hand-painted by Wang Dongling, a famous modern calligrapher. Apple has released a video of its creation …  expand full story


December 8, 2014

Tim Cook shows China’s top internet regulator Lu Wei the Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook alongside Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and other tech executives recently met with China’s Cyberspace Administration ministerLu Wei while the government official was in the US, according to a report from China’s government-run china.com.cn (via Bloomberg). expand full story

November 21, 2014

October 23, 2014

Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ …  expand full story


October 20, 2014

As we mentioned last month, Apple is scheduled to host its quarterly conference call today to discuss its earnings report from the fourth quarter of its fiscal year: this includes 39 million iPhones, 12.3 million iPads, 2.6 million iPods, and 5.5 million Macs. Apple already reported today that it earned $42.1 billion in revenue during its Q4 period.

This quarterly conference call with analysts and investors will include the opening weekend of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales which included a record 10 million sales including 4 million units sold during the first 24 hours of pre-orders. It will also be the first call since Apple previewed the Apple Watch to the public, shipped iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and introduced new iPads and a Retina 5K iMac, although sales for those devices are not included in the previous quarter. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri will also likely mention Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment service which launched for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users earlier today.

Investors and analysts will have an opportunity to ask Tim Cook and company questions during the earnings call and we’ll be listening to bring you coverage starting at 5pm EST/ 2pm PST. expand full story

August 14, 2014

May 2, 2014

March 10, 2014

I’ll admit, I’ve never felt the need to purchase network-attached-storage (NAS) hardware for storing and accessing my media or backing up my files. These days most of my content, from photos and movies to back ups of important files for work, are already stored in the cloud. My photos are (supposed to) auto backup to Photostream in iCloud, iTunes has all of my music downloadable from all my devices from the cloud, and any important files and everything else go directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. Around 90% of my content is already stored and accessible from anywhere in the cloud.

That being said, for the last year or so I’ve been hearing more and more about Synology DiskStation products. Coworkers can’t stop talking about them, and the products have received a lot of praise from many other reviewers as well.

I’ve been putting the Synology DiskStation hardware and brand new DiskStation Manager 5.0 software to the test in recent months to see if I could really benefit from a NAS solution despite all my content already being on the cloud and backed up. With today marking the release of 5.0, the company’s biggest software update yet, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my experience.  expand full story


July 31, 2013

According to data from App Annie’s latest download and revenue report, Google Play for the first time surpassed the App Store in app downloads during the second quarter of 2013. While Google was able to move past Apple with about 10 percent more downloads during the three month period, the report notes the App Store brought in nearly 2.3x the amount of revenue.

App Annie says that Google Play’s growth was driven by emerging markets including Brazil, India, and Russia, and while the App Store still leads by revenue, Google Play closed the gap slightly compared to last quarter and years past.

Google Play saw Brazil climb two spots to join India and Russia as another emerging market in the top 5 countries by downloads for Q2 2013…The United States, Japan and United Kingdom remained the leaders in the iOS App Store when looking at revenue generation, and Australia climbed to #4 after a strong Q2. iOS App Store revenue was driven primarily by the United States and Japan, which combined to account for about half of the total iOS App Store revenue in Q2.

App Annie’s report also includes its Games Index tracking mobile games on iOS and Android, which now account for around 40 percent of all downloads on both platforms. During Q2, Gameloft’s Despicable Me: Minion Rush grabbed the top spot for most downloaded iOS game, while publisher Tiny Piece took the honour on Google Play.

As for non-gaming apps, Vine increased by three positions to become the most downloaded app during the quarter on iOS, followed closely by YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. expand full story

January 10, 2013


Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua on Thursday to consider “matters of cooperation,” a China Mobile spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

“In the morning, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook visited China Mobile’s headquarters. China Mobile’s Chairman Xi Guohua and Tim Cook discussed matters of cooperation,” said China Mobile spokesperson Li Jun in an emailed statement.

The discussion was held in Beijing, where Cook has attended meetings with government officials and visited Apple stores. The talks with potential partner China Mobile seem to “raise hopes” that a deal will come soon, Reuters noted. China Mobile is a huge opportunity for Apple, as it is the world’s largest mobile carrier with over 700 million subscribers.

In an interview with local Chinese media on Thursday, Cook said China would become Apple’s largest market in the near future.

“China has always been Apple’s most important market, is now our second largest market, I am convinced that in the near future, China will become Apple’s largest market over the past year, Apple has been localized products for the Chinese market,” said Cook, as reported by Sina Technology News (translated). “Apple already has 11 stores in the Greater China region, as well as many of our distributors in China, we will continue to expand the number of outlets will be far more than 25 . ”

Cook further confirmed in the interview that a cellular version of the iPad mini would launch in the mainland this month. The Sina report mentioned Apple devices usually take longer to launch in China, but Cook said his company is making strides to reduce the approval time and pledged to tackle the issue.

The report then claimed Cook has come to China at least 20 times since 1996. The CEO professed his love for Chinese culture and even said his in-law is Chinese. It is unclear which in-law he is referring to, as the story cited both “sister-in-law” and “brother-in-law”. Cook seemed to converse about everything from Apple’s roadmap and Apple TV to labor conditions in the country and retail.

A few of the selected quotes are below.

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September 19, 2012

We’re sure many of you are anxiously waiting for the iPhone 5 to hit your doorstep in the coming days (or weeks—depending on when you ordered). In the mean time, the folks at Apple have something to calm your nerves: as anticipated, the hard-working men and women of Cupertino have pushed out iOS 6. If you own an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, fourth- or fifth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2, or the new iPad, you can check out Apple’s latest offering for free right now. Apple is making iOS 6 available in an over-the-air update to those on iOS 5. However, as the company’s servers start being slammed by the hoard of users looking to get going, delays are expected. If you would rather install the update the old-fashioned way (by connecting it to iTunes), you will need to install Apple’s latest iTunes 10.7 offering.

Announced at WWDC 2012, Apple said iOS 6 brings “over 200 new features” to the table. A version of the software has been available to developers a part of Apple’s Developer Program for those willing to iron out the wrinkles before Apple shipped it to the masses. Apple’s Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall called iOS 6 a “rapid pace of innovation.” So, what exactly does this innovation encompass? We got the full details below:

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September 17, 2012

Google Maps may no longer hold the spotlight in iOS 6, but a new report indicates its direct competition in Russia is apparently able to power some Apple Maps features.

Yandex sports the majority market share in Russia, and a report from TechCrunch this morning, which cited sources “close to the situation,” claimed the search engine’s built-in API serves up details on local businesses when iOS 6 users seek information in Maps.

According to TechCrunch:

Yandex’s geosearch API works like this: When users are looking for details on Apple’s Maps service, Yandex’s geosearch API powers that that search, providing information about restaurants, shops, streets, and so on. If a user wants more detail on a place, there is a Yandex button at the bottom of the listing; clicking through takes the user to the Yandex.Map app — Yandex’s standalone native mapping app. If a user doesn’t have that app installed, they are redirected to the App Store to download it. Yandex’s mapping API works for all users in Russia, as well as those who use Apple Maps elsewhere to source mapping information about Russia.

Apple previously packaged Google Maps in its mobile operating system, but it disconnected the partnership earlier this year due to growing rivalry. TechCrunch noted today’s move would help to bulk Maps in iOS 6, while giving Yandex more of a lead against Google in its homeland. The integration apparently surfaced upon taking a closer look at Russia’s iOS 6 Gold Master version.

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July 25, 2012

In addition to being included with OS X Mountain Lion, Apple has rolled out its updated version of the Safari web browser – Safari 6 – to OS X Lion users. The update includes what Apple calls the Smart Search Field. This new search bar basically unifies the URL bar with the web search bar. Also in the update is offline reading list, Baidu Chinese search support, Do Not Track, and improved password management. The OS X Mountain Lion variant includes a new Tab View and iCloud Tabs feature, but those aren’t available in Lion.

Safari 6.0 for OS X Lion:

  • Smart Search Field. Safari now has one field for typing both searches and web addresses.
  • Offline Reading List. Safari saves entire webpages in your Reading List so you can catch up on your reading even when you don’t have an internet connection.
  • Do Not Track. Safari can send the websites you visit a request not to track you online.
  • Password pane. Manage your saved website logins with the new Password pane.
  • Baidu. The leading Chinese search engine Baidu is now a built-in option for Chinese users.

Apple has also released an updated version of its iWork productivity suite with MacBook Pro Retina display support and iCloud Documents in the Cloud sync.

Also, new updates for Aperture, iPhoto, and iMovie have been released. Full release notes after the break (thanks Keith!):

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As Apple previously announced during its Q3 2012 earnings call yesterday, Mountain Lion is officially available for download in the Mac App Store for $19.99. The download is exclusive to the Mac App Store this year, as we mentioned before, because Apple will not sell the OS via USB sticks or optical discs. The $20 price tag is a $10 drop from Lion, however, and the single purchase will is good for up to five macs via the Mac App Stores purchased apps feature.

Unfortunately, for those planning to try Mountain Lion in an Apple retail store before upgrading, we reported last night that some Apple Stores had issues getting the OS on in-store demo Macs. There are also many users reporting error messages when trying to download from Apple’s servers. Before you make the switch to 10.8, you might want to check out the list of compatible Mountain Lion apps to make sure you will not run into any problems.

Apple’s full press release is below:

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July 1, 2012

iPad sign inside of Chinese Apple Store (Credit: Yahoo)

According to the Associated Press, Apple has ended their long-running iPad name dispute in China with Proview with a $60 million settlement. The ruling was made Monday by the Guangdong High People’s Court. While it got $60 million, Proview wanted even more:

Proview hoped for more money but felt pressure to settle because it needs to pay debts, said a lawyer for the company, Xie Xianghui. He said the company had hoped for as much as $400 million and might still be declared bankrupt in a separate legal proceeding despite the infusion of settlement money.

Apple had purchased the iPad name from Proview in 2009 under a shell company, but the use of the name iPad in China by Apple was ruled to never officially been granted. In February, Proview brought the lawsuit stateside, but a California judge ruled against Proview in the United States in early May.

This $60 million settlement is substantially more than the rumored $16 million offering from Apple. Even at $60 million, the fee is a small amount compared to what would occur – marketing and sales wise – if Apple were to actually lose the right to use the name “iPad” in China.

Apple has been moving quickly in China over the past couple of years, expanding iPad, iPhone, Mac and other product sales in the region while also rolling out updated software to better support the nation.

Apple’s upcoming update to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, iOS 6, and update to Mac OS, OS X Mountain Lion, include the Chinese Web search service Baidu as a search option in Safari in addition to built-in support for Chinese social networks and Mail services.

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