Tim Cook: Apple Watch attracting more developer interest than early iPhones and iPads

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In an interview with the Chinese language edition of Bloomberg Businessweek, Tim Cook noted that developers are showing more interest in the Apple Watch than they had in the iPhone and iPad at a similar early stage.

Developers are working on more than 3,500 apps for the gadgets, he said. That’s well ahead of the 500 apps available for the 2008 edition of the iPhone and the 1,000 for the first iPad in 2010, he added.

Cook also confirmed what most had assumed: the gold color introduced for the iPhone, iPad and now MacBook (and presumably real gold for the Watch) was “in part” driven by the popularity of the color in China. Greater China now accounts for a whopping 29% of Apple’s revenue …  Read more

Apple Watch fitness lead Jay Blahnik holding Apple Store events in Asia & Australia

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Jay Blahnik, one of the lead directors behind the health and fitness functionality in iOS 8 and the Apple Watch, is continuing to host events at Apple Stores. At the end of April, Blahnik held an interview with Christy Turlington Burns at an Apple Store in the United Kingdom, and now Blahnik is making his way to Australia and Asia. Late last week, Blahnik held a Q/A session in Australia with personal trainer Michelle Bridges. Here are videos of Blahnik discussing the importance of walking along with other health tips with Bridges:

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iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China

Maps Transit

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

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Apple gets closer to opening up its first store in Belgium

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New Brussels shopping complex La Toison d’Or

Apple is getting closer to taking its retail stores to a new market: Belgium. According to sources within Apple retail, Apple today sent out a memo announcing the new market. The note also was sent to gauge interest from employees who may be inclined to relocate to Belgium to assist with opening up the new location…

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Tim Cook: Apple Watch in stores ‘by June’, in talks for Apple Pay in China

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During his trip last week across China, Apple CEO Tim Cook held a meeting at Apple’s China headquarters with several employees in attendance, according to sources with knowledge of the briefing. Cook reportedly reiterated several recent China-focused announcements, including the new forest-focused environmental initiatives and improvements for education, but he also mentioned some new tidbits regarding the upcoming retail launch for the Apple Watch and the rollout of Apple Pay for China…

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Apple CEO Tim Cook shares photos from recent trip to China (Gallery)

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Tim Cook has shared photos from his recent trip to China where the Apple CEO spoke to media about upcoming initiatives in the country and visited new Apple retail stores opened in the region. The photos (above and below) were posted to Cook’s new Weibo account. The head Apple exec started posting to the Chinese microblogging site, much like he does on Twitter, earlier this month. Read more

UBS matches KGI’s upbeat forecast for Q2 iPhone sales of 51M, well above consensus

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UBS has matched the upbeat iPhone forecast made last month by KGI for Q2 (Apple’s fiscal Q3), both analysts estimating sales of 51M – well above the consensus expectation of 45M.

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo predicts 51.4M, saying that while he believes iPhone sales have peaked, demand will remain higher than the normal seasonal pattern. UBS forecast 51.1M, noting that Apple’s “continued surge” in China is a key factor, where the premium market remains strong despite reports of the country approaching saturation point in smartphones.

Both analysts have strong track-records, Ming-Chi Kuo being our go-to guy for supply-chain rumors, and UBS producing a graph to show the accuracy of its past predictions (below) …  Read more

Tim Cook talks Apple Pay, Xiaomi, new environmental efforts during China visit

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Tim Cook, who is in China this week to discuss Apple’s new environmental initiatives, spoke to Chinese media regarding his plans to further expand Apple services in the country. Speaking to news outlet Xinhua, Cook discussed a variety of topics, including his hope to launch Apple Pay in China and get a smartphone in the hand of every resident.

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Tim Cook opens account on Chinese social network Weibo during Beijing trip

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With Apple now selling more iPhones in China than in the USA, and much of Apple’s Q2 earnings call focused on the country, it’s no great surprise that Tim Cook has today opened an account on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter known as Weibo. There is, though, a certain amount of irony involved, Weibo being one of the main sources of leaked information on Apple products.

Cook is in Beijing to announce Apple’s new environmental programs in the country, the topic of his first post.

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At the time of writing, the verified account already had over 300,000 followers, with almost 50,000 likes on his first post …  Read more

Apple announces new China environmental initiatives: responsibly managed forests, solar for manufacturing

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Apple today has announced a variety of new environmental initiatives for its China operations. Through a press release, the company announced a new multi-year partnership with World Wildlife Fund to increase responsibly managed forests throughout China. Apple also announced that it intends to expand its renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.

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All Apple Stores to begin stocking 12-inch MacBook at end of May

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

The recently released 12-inch MacBook will be available for purchase at all Apple Stores globally beginning the week of May 25th, according to a memo from Apple to its retail staff issued earlier today. Because of supply constraints, not unlike those for the also recently-launched Apple Watch, sales of the new MacBook have been mostly restricted to Apple’s Online Store…

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