Chinese government’s war on Apple escalates as it bans govt purchases

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After a Chinese state-run TV channel last month described the iPhone as a “national security concern” (a claim Apple denied), Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has stepped up its war on Apple by removing the company’s products from its procurement lists.

Ten Apple products — including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were omitted from a final government procurement list distributed in July, according to officials who read it and asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The models were on a June version of the list drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, the officials said …

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Apple profiled for renewable energy in sapphire factory, says supply-chain is now the focus

After showing more journalists around its solar-powered North Carolina data center (where it is building a third solar farm), Apple says that its new focus for renewable energy is its supply chain. The Guardian reports that the sapphire factory in Arizona forms part of this initiative.

The company is also moving to install solar and geothermal power at a plant in Mesa, Arizona that has been manufacturing sapphire glass. Apple would not directly comment on the Arizona factory but the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, has publicly praised the company’s decision to relocate there and to use solar and geothermal in manufacturing.

Apple’s VP of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson said that the company is conscious that its supply chain cannot claim the same green credentials as Apple itself …  Read more

Apple & Samsung lose share to smaller Chinese OEMs in Q2 smartphone shipment numbers

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Following releasing its second quarter data for tablet shipments worldwide, IDC today released its Q2 2014 report for smartphone shipments during the three month period that ended in June. The numbers line up with Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings call that took place earlier this month where the company reported iPhone sales of 35.1 million units for the quarter. With 295.3 million units shipped total during Q2, and consumers anticipating a new iPhone this fall, IDC notes that both Samsung and Apple lost share to the smaller Chinese manufacturers: Read more

Apple announces August 2nd opening of Wuxi, China retail store

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Apple has officially announced plans to open its new Wuxi, China retail store on August 2nd, according to a listing on the company’s website.

The new establishment, which will be the 12th official Apple retail store in the country, will be located in the Center 66 Mall (pictured above). However, there don’t seem to be any photos of Apple’s new space available just yet, as the company still undoubtedly has some work to do before it’s ready for the public eye.

The Wuxi store, like the Chongqing store opening next week, is a continuation of Apple’s plan to increase its presence in China over the course of 2014 and 2015 under the guidance of new VP of Retail Angela Ahrednts.

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Apple China denies location tracking claims: we’re ‘deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers’

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This past week, Chinese State TV called the iPhone a “national security concern” because of its location tracking capabilities. The iPhone’s operating system utilizes location for several applications, including Maps and Weather. iOS 7 also introduced a new feature that utilizes a customer’s location in order to provide improved traffic and route information. Now, Apple has quickly responded via a concrete and comprehensive message on its website for China. The message is advertised on the homepage, and is a direct response to the allegations from China State TV.

Apple denies the claims by stating that “privacy is built into [its] products and services from the earliest stages of design. We work tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world.” Apple also explains that it uses industry leading encryption to protect location data, and says that all location data is stored solely on the iPhone, not on Apple’s servers.

Apple goes on to, once again, explain that it does not work with government agencies to spy on its customers: “Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It’s something we feel very strongly about.” Apple goes on to list specific work it does for individual services in order to protect customer privacy.

On Maps:

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Chinese state TV annoyed by NSA, takes it out on Apple

The WSJ reports that the state-run China Central TV has described the iPhone as a “national security concern” due to its location-tracking capabilities.

In its national noon broadcast, state-run China Central Television criticized the “frequent locations” function in Apple’s iOS 7 mobile operating system, which tracks and records the time and location of the owner’s movements. The report quoted researchers who said that those with access to that data could gain knowledge of the broader situation in China or “even state secrets” …

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Fourth Swiss Apple Store coming to Basel on July 12th

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Apple will be opening up its fourth official retail store in Switzerland this weekend. A new store in the city of Basel will see its grand opening on Saturday, July 12th, according to a notice on Apple’s Retail Store website. Job listings for the store first appeared earlier this year on Apple’s jobs website. Apple has already surrounded the store with a black banner promoting the store’s website. Apple is also planning several new stores in China, Italy, and the United States under the guide of recently appointed retail head Angela Ahrendts.

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Apple begins hiring for another 3 new retail stores in China

Photo: mshcdn.com

Photo: mshcdn.com

We previously reported that Apple had new retail stores planned for the Chongqing region as well as upcoming locations for Shenyang and Central Hangzhou coming later this year. Today three more stores in China get added to the mix with a job listing on the company’s website hiring for positions in Tianjin, Wuxi, and Zhengzhou in addition to the three stores mentioned above that we already knew about (via Bloomberg).  Read more

Apple’s Ahrendts to oversee slew of new China, Italy, U.S. stores as organizational restructuring planned

Seeking to enhance Apple’s retail store divison and bring the customer experience to higher levels, new Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is planning a fundamental restructuring of Apple’s retail stores as she prepares a series of new store openings across the globe for the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015…

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Android migration means there’s more iPhone growth to come, suggests Cook

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With so many new iOS and OS X features being introduced in yesterday’s WWDC keynote, the numbers that kicked off the show perhaps didn’t get the attention they otherwise might have done.

While the Wall Street line is that the smartphone market is saturated and iPhone and iPad growth is done, Tim Cook clearly thinks otherwise. Business Insider highlighted Cook’s comment on the migration Apple is seeing from Android phones.

“Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months were buying their first Apple device,” said Cook before introducing iOS 8, the new software for the iPhone and iPad. “Many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone — by mistake. Then had sought a better experience … And a better life. And decided to check out iPhone and iOS.”

He added, “Nearly half of our customers in China in the past six months switch from Android to iPhone. This is incredible.”

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WWDC ’14: Women in Technology and Apps for China events as most labs remain secret

Besides a slew of events focused squarely on the technical side of developing and designing applications for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, Apple, this year, will be holding a pair of interesting events over the course of the first week of June at WWDC.

On Wednesday June 4th from 4:30 to 5:30 PM Pacific Time, an event called Women in Technology Get Together will take place. This important event will discuss “the increased participation of women in technology,” the schedule in the updated WWDC app reads. Apple is making a point to further involve women in the conference this year, even announcing that the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) will provide scholarships for women to attend WWDC:

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Analyst: Apple has reached deal with China UnionPay, could include NFC in iPhone 6

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According to Shanghai Mobile analyst Frank Hill, Apple has reached a deal with mobile payment provider China UnionPay that would enable the next iPhone to make purchases at millions of supported Chinese point-of-sale devices. This would work in conjunction with NFC hardware said to be included in the next iPhone model.

UnionPay works with many of China’s major banks, and is the only domestic mobile payment company operating in the country. Several banks have reportedly been invited by UnionPay to participate in the development of a new system that is compatible with iOS devices.

While rumors of NFC in the iPhone have been relatively rare compared to some previous upgrade cycles, this isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen mentions of the technology finally making its way into Apple’s smartphone. Last month a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that we’d see near-field communication in the upcoming device.

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