Apple halfway to solving regulatory holdup delaying iPhone 6 launch in China

china

Reuters is reporting that Apple has now received one of the two licences needed to allow it to sell the iPhone 6 in China. There is no word yet on the second licence required before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be launched in this hugely important market.

Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday […]

Apple still needs to obtain a critical network access licence for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said …

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Siri leaks her own upcoming ability to speak Japanese

Siri is many things, but it seems she is not a good secret keeper. A few tipsters reached out and told us that Siri now speaks Japanese. Rumors earlier this month said Apple’s AI speech recognition interface would gain Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and possibly Russian. It now appears that Japanese is about to be announced, perhaps at the iPad 3 announcement next month. There is no word yet on Chinese or Russian, but those are also likely coming soon.

When Siri was announced in October, Apple said that that additional languages would follow this year.  Apple’s Siri FAQ says that she will support Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish in 2012:

Language Support and Availability

Siri works exclusively on iPhone 4S. Siri understands and can speak the following languages:

  • English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)

In 2012, Siri will support additional languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish.

Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?

Yes. Siri can be enabled in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in English, French, or German. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.

Thanks Alex, AR and D.

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Elaborate pulley smuggling system created to get iPhones/iPads over HK border to China

MICGadget reports that some industrious Chinese smugglers devised an elaborate system to get iPads and iPhones across the border into the country where they were once built:

Hong Kong and Chinese customs have cracked an audacious smuggling operation that saw Apple goods ferried along a long cable straddling the border. The iPad and iPhones were transported over a small river that separates the booming city of Shenzhen from the rural northern part of Hong Kong using an elaborate pulley system. The cable was shot across the border using a crossbow [Batman?] and the Apple products were flying across at night, which store in black nylon bags. The cable was suspended to a high-rise building in the Chinese border town of Shenzhen, and goods were moved several hundred meters from a small village house located in Hong Kong

6 smugglers were arrested in the operation, 50’s iPad 2 and 50’s iPhone 4, which worth about three hundred thousand yuan (US$46,583) were seized.

It is startling that Chinese taxes make operations like this necessary, especially in the place where these things are actually produced! Read more

WSJ: China Mobile “getting closer” to deal that will make iPhone available to 600 million subscribers

Without revealing too many new details, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and China Mobile are “getting closer” to the seemingly elusive China Mobile iPhone deal. China Mobile is the mainland’s largest carrier with over 600 million subscribers (that’s about the equiv. of the US+European populations). The report also confirms that it was, in fact, Tim Cook who was spotted at China Mobile‘s headquarters in mid-June.

China Mobile references in the iOS SDK – Thanks, Sonny Dickson!

The WSJ also discusses the price of the current iPhone models in context with the average salaries for China households:

The iPhone, which currently sells for between 3,999 and 5,999 yuan without contract, would be a luxury for many Chinese consumers. The average household income in the first half of 2011 was 12,076 yuan, according to China’s national statistics bureau.

With this fact in mind, it makes sense for Apple to build and sell a more economical iPhone. The report is not specific about when this China Mobile iPhone will launch and China Mobile has already confirmed that talks with Apple over carrying the iPhone are ongoing. Be sure to check out the WSJ’s explanation of the “exclusive” in the video above.

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After $2500 sale, Steve Jobs action figures popping up all over eBay

That lovely Steve Jobs action figure you see up there went on auction for $2500 recently.  Only 100-300 were sold through MIC Gadget before the operation was shut down by Apple, making the items a rare find for collectors.  More have cropped up on eBay fetching prices from $1000.. to.. $2500.

BTW, is anyone interested in ours?  We may have a charity auction or something later this month.  Check twitter for updates. Read more