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…
German Apple Stores have dropped Vodafone and O2 contracts for both iPhones and iPads, offering them only with Deutsche Telekom contracts or SIM-free. The change affects only post-paid contracts: pre-paid SIMs remain available on Vodafone. Read more
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…
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
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
As Tim Cook honors what would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday, the Apple CEO has been spotted in Berlin, Germany. Specifically, Cook has made an appearance at the newsroom of BILD (Bild-Zeitung), the famous German newspaper, alongside the publication’s editors-in-chief Kai Diekmann and Julian Reichelt. Read more
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.
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:
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…
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
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.