Tim Cook talks Apple Pay, Apple Watch and security on final day in China

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On the final day of Tim Cook’s four-day visit to China, he told state news agency Xinhuanet that Apple Pay was top of the list of things the company wanted to take to China.

“China is a really key market for us,” said the CEO. “Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list.”

Cook said that Apple would be working to understand the steps needed to bring the new service to China before meeting with local carriers, banks and merchants …
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Foxconn hoping to make future iPhone screens, get more of the Apple pie

File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables …  Read more

Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

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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 …  Read more

Tim Cook meets with Chinese vice premier in Beijing following iCloud phishing attack

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Two days after evidence emerged of a phishing attack on iCloud, allegedly due to the Chinese government firewall redirecting traffic to a fake login page, the Chinese state news agency Xinhuanet is reporting a meeting in Beijing between Tim Cook and Chinese vice premier Ma Kai.

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday exchanged views on protection of users’ information during their meeting in Zhongnanhai, the central authority’s seat. They also exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in information and communication fields.

The Chinese government censors access to the Internet by deploying a country-wide firewall which blocks certain sites and which can redirect traffic from sites the government dislikes to officially-sanctioned ones …
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“iPad has a great future,” said Cook: long-term more important than “90-day clicks”

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While yesterday’s iPad numbers don’t look great – down 12.5% year-on-year, the third successive quarter in which sales have fallen – Tim Cook remains upbeat about the product, stating that it “has a great future” and that its long-term prospects are more important than “individual 90-day clicks.”

Quartz‘s Dan Frommer pulled together some of the things Cook has to say about the device, and while you’d clearly expect Apple’s CEO to put the best possible spin on things, he makes some reasonable arguments …  Read more

AAPL will announce record quarter, predict analysts, with earnings up 11.9%

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Analysts are predicting that Apple (AAPL) will announce record sales and earnings in today’s fiscal Q4 (calendar Q3) earnings call, reports Fortune.

I’ve got the collected fiscal Q4 estimates of 33 Apple analysts — 21 professionals and 12 amateurs. They are all to a man (and one woman) predicting record Q4 sales and earnings (up 7.1% and 11.9%, respectively).

The analysts also expect earnings per share to be up 12% year-on-year, to $1.32 …  Read more

Apple rolls out iPhone 6/Plus to 36 more countries this month

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Apple has announced that it will be rolling out the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to an additional 36 countries this month, bringing the total number of markets to 69. The latest rollout will begin with India and Monaco alongside China on Friday.

Apple today announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, will arrive in 36 additional countries and territories across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa by the end of October. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in a total of 69 countries and territories by the end of the month and are on track to be available in more than 115 countries by the end of the year, making this the fastest iPhone rollout ever … 

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Apple Watch set to appear on the cover of Vogue China’s November issue

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Apple’s upcoming wearable will appear on the cover of Vogue China’s November issue according to Business of Fashion. Several styles of the device will be worn by supermodel Liu Wen. This comes just a few weeks after Apple’s one-day-only special showing of the Apple Watch during Paris Fashion Week, proving that the company is taking a much more direct approach to the fashion world.

Vogue China EiC Angelica Cheung reportedly met with Tim Cook and Jony Ive prior to the official reveal of the watch to learn about the process behind its design. When asked about why Vogue China was chosen as the first magazine to feature the device, she responded in part by stating:

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iPhone 6 finally approved for sale in China following regulatory hangups (U: Pre-orders start Oct. 10, available Oct. 17)

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Earlier this month it was discovered that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would be delayed in China due to regulatory hold ups when Chinese authorities decided that they were not pleased with the current state of security on iOS. According to Bloomberg, Apple has cleared the last hurdle and received the licenses necessary to run the device on Chinese cellular networks.

Apple reportedly agreed to make undisclosed changes to the privacy settings on the device to appease the regulators. Yesterday we reported that Apple was apparently preparing for a Chinese launch on October 10th, but that date has not yet been confirmed. Update: Apple has announced through a press release that the phones will be available for sale in China on October 17th with pre-orders starting on the 10th.

Apple also released a beta version of iOS 8.1 today, which may or may not include the updated privacy settings necessary to get approval from the Chinese government.

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Apple seemingly preparing for China iPhone 6 launch on October 10th

A supposed screenshot of a notice (via TechWeb) sent to Apple retail employees suggests that Apple is readying a China iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) launch for October 10th. As stated on the Chinese site (translated):

It is important that the person broke new iPhone prototype store shelves will be put on Oct. 7, and should be officially on sale in October 10. A few days ago the Ministry of Industry Minister Miao Wei once said in an interview, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has entered the final stage of the audit, which means the phones will soon be landing in mainland China.

This is shortly after China’s national week-long holiday. Independently, the Chinese press have also reported the same October 10th date for the iPhone 6 debut. Last week, regulators stated that the phone was nearing final approval, causing black market iPhone 6 prices to plummet.

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Black market iPhone 6 prices fall as Chinese regulators say final approvals are coming soon

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iPhone smuggling into China is nothing new, but this year it has perhaps been even more of a problem as Apple awaits regulatory approvals to begin selling its new iPhone models in the country. The good news is that a report from CNBC notes that regulators in the country said today that final reviews of licenses for the new iPhones would be “completed soon”.  Read more