Tim Cook says Apple Watch will be available outside U.S. in April

tim-cook-apple-watch

Speaking at the Berlin flagship Apple Store last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the Apple Watch will not be exclusive to the United States in April, according to employees in attendance. Specifically, Cook said that the Apple Watch will launch in Germany during the month of April. It’s possible that the Apple Watch will launch first in the United States in early April, with Germany and other countries following later in the month, but it definitely appears that the Watch’s rollout will be more aggressive than the first iPhone and iPad launches…

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Tim Cook talks Snowden, Apple Car and Steve Jobs as the best teacher he’s ever had

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Tim Cook appears to be using his international tour, which so far includes Israel, Germany and the UK, to push a second product every bit as hard as the Apple Watch: privacy. In an interview with the German newspaper BILD posted yesterday (paywall), Cook went as far as to praise Edward Snowden for his role in prompting discussion of the issue.

If Snowden did anything for us at all, then it was to get us to talk more about these things. [Apple’s] values have always been the same.

The comments follow a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at which data privacy was reportedly a key topic. Cook also told the Telegraph last week that “none of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information.” Cook has in the past resisted FBI pressure to compromise its strong encryption, and was the only tech CEO to attend a recent White House cybersecurity summit.

In the BILD interview, Cook reiterated Apple’s stance on privacy, and also said that as Apple had grown larger, it had taken deliberate decisions to be less secretive about some aspects of its business …  Read more

Tim Cook met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during Berlin visit, talked privacy, security & more

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It seems Tim Cook had more on his schedule than a meeting with BILD during his visit to Berlin yesterday: the newspaper reports that he also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Cook told BILD that they discussed security, net neutrality, environmental protection and education–but the key topic appears to have been data privacy.

Cook said that he could well understand Germany’s strong stance on data privacy, stating that Germans “have the same views on privacy as I do” …  Read more

Apple says it has created or supported 629,000 jobs in Europe, including 500k from the ‘app economy’

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Apple is today touting a lot of new stats regarding Apple’s contribution to European economies. The company has done similar things for the United States, in the past. For Europe, Apple claims to have created or supported 629,000 jobs across Europe, with over 500,000 of those representing the ‘app economy’. Apple says this number is made up of employees whose jobs can be directly attributed to the App Store. Out of $20 billion in worldwide developer earnings, $6.5 billion has gone to European developers.

In 2014, Apple estimates the ‘app economy’ will add $86 billion to worldwide GDP this year. Aside from the App Store, Apple employees 16,000 Europeans directly and indirectly supports a total of 132,000 jobs elsewhere. The company has also calculated that 116,000 European jobs have been created at other companies as a result of Apple’s growth.

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Samsung and Apple agree to end all patent disputes outside of the United States

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in Zenica

Samsung and Apple just announced that they have agreed to drop all patent suits against each other in countries outside the United States, Bloomberg reports. The two companies will drop suits against each other in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy. This agreement does not include any licensing agreements, though. This has no effect on United States battles either.

In a joint statement, the two companies had the following to say:

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Apple Store iPhone trade-in program launches in Italy, coming soon to Australia

Apple has added another market for its Apple Store iPhone “reuse and recycle” trade-in program: Italy. This is indicated by a new panel inside of the Italy Apple Store listings within the official Apple Store app. The app indicates that Apple is offering trade-ins of older iPhones models for up to €220. This converts to roughly 300 U.S. dollars.

According to a source, Apple is also planning to rollout the same program in Australia as soon as this upcoming week. Apple is said to have been training employees in Australia on the program over the course of the last several days.

The trade-in program allows a user of an older iPhone model (3G and up) to bring the phone in and receive gift card credit toward the purchase of an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 4s…

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Tim Cook among tech CEOs German committee may want to testify in NSA investigation

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Apple’s association with the United States National Security Agency may once again put the company in the spotlight as Germany begins to investigate the agency’s recent activity. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, members of a German parliamentary commission want the heads of a number of US-based tech companies, including Apple, to participate in their investigation of the NSA’s involvement in monitoring German officials.

Apple, for its part, has denied direct involvement with PRISM program and repeatedly said it has not allowed the government to have direct access to its servers. Read more

Apple’s two-step verification for Apple IDs arrives in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, & Spain

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Back in May of last year, a long list of readers in countries around the world reported having access to Apple’s two-step verification security feature for their Apple ID. Shortly after the news broke, the feature disappeared in many countries signaling it had been launched prematurely. The only officially supported countries listed on Apple’s website included the “U.S., UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.” However, today the feature has appeared in several new countries including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, & Spain. Apple has also updated its support pages for two-step verification here and here to list the new countries. 

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Beaconic announces availability of first Retail iBeacon Kits for Europe

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We’ve seen Apple’s new iBeacon technology in use at several retail stores and events here in North America— Apple Stores, Macy’s, CES, MLB— but adoption of the new Bluetooth low power technology has been slower overseas. Beaconic aims to change that with a new iBeacon Retail Kit that will make it easier for businesses in Europe to deploy the technology. The concept of iBeacons is simple: As you walk around retail stores or other locations, your iOS device will communicate with iBeacons in proximity and display notifications, promotions, payment options, or other info setup by whoever deployed the nearby beacons. Beaconic’s new Retail Kit will make it easier for small businesses to get setup and track usage, and its software is available in several languages: Read more

Analysts raise AAPL target price in response to Black Friday shopping

Image: businessinsider.com

Image: businessinsider.com

Both Deutsche Bank and Global Equities Research have raised their target price for AAPL – the price they expect the stock to achieve – in response to spot checks of Apple sales on Black Friday, reports Fortune.

After spot-checking Black Friday weekend sales, Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore raised his price target to $625 from $575. “We have become significantly more confident in our near-term estimates for Apple” […]

Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry raised his price target to a Street-high $800 after visiting nine Apple Stores and five Targets and talking to “no less than 300 people.”

Anyone planning to invest on the basis of these numbers might want to dig a little deeper, however …  Read more