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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Report: Android switchers drive iPhone growth across EU in Q1, Apple grows to 26% share in China

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New data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that smartphone users ditching Android devices in recent months helped drive iOS growth across the EU. The data tracked the EU’s biggest markets in 1Q15— Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain— and shows iOS grew 1.8 percentage points from last year to 20.3% market share this year. That includes around 32.4% of new Apple customers switching from an Android device, according to the report, while Android lost 3.1 percentage points during the quarter: Read more

China finally overtakes U.S. in iPhone sales, Chinese revenue up 71%

Hangzhou Opens Second Apple Store

Pundits have been predicting for several successive quarters that iPhone sales in China would outstrip those in the U.S., and Q2 2015 was when it finally happened, reports Reuters.

Apple […] sold more iPhones in China than the United States for the first time […] increasing its revenue in the country 71 percent to $16.8 billion, although that was helped by gift-buying for Chinese New Year.

Tim Cook said that the iPhone was responsible for the bulk of Apple’s revenue in China, though he did also note that Mac sales were “unbelievable,” up 31% year-on-year. As with other markets, the iPhone is usually the first Apple product people buy, but that brings them into the ecosystem and boosts sales of other products …  Read more