Square rebrands Card Case as ‘Pay with Square’ in monster update following Paypal’s announcement

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Square updated its “Card Case” app with a new design, new name, and a shiny new icon (literally) less than a week after PayPal announced its triangular Square competitor.

Unlike the previous version of the app, which used a credit card metaphor for each store you had an account with, version 2.0, now called “Pay with Square,” uses a list of businesses nearby that accept Square payments and allow you to quickly open a tab at any of them. You can also search a map for nearby Square-compatible businesses and add your favorites to a list for quick and easy access on future visits.

What’s new in Version 2.0, below:

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Apple continues reservation system for new iPad in China starting Thursday morning

Following an overwhelming launch day for the iPhone 4S in China plagued by massive crowds of scalpers, Apple suspended in-store sales of the device to walk-in customers and employed a lottery system for reservations that did not operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. Customers also had to bring government-issued ID when picking up their device. Apple confirmed on its website it will be doing the same for the new iPad launch with reservations beginning the morning of March 15 and pick ups available March 16 at the IFC Mall store in Hong Kong.
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Fighting Proview in Shanghai Showdown, Apple highlights iPad’s benefits to China’s economy

An important update as a Shanghai court hearing this morning confronted Shenzhen, China-based LCD display maker Proview and Apple of California, the maker of the widely popular iPad tablet. The high-profile hearing drew more than a hundred reporters. As you know, Proview is dreaming of a multi-billion dollar settlement for rights to the iPad name in China where Apple pushes aggressively with claims it acquired the iPad trademark in 2009 from Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate for about $55,000. Associated Press this morning described a heated exchange between cash-strapped Proview, which recently filed for bankruptcy, and the Silicon Valley giant. At stake: A countrywide import and export ban on the iPad that enjoys a 76 percent share in China.

If enforced, the ban could easily disrupt worldwide iPad availability, because the world’s largest contract manufacturer Foxconn at its plants in the Chinese province of Shenzhen manufactures the tablet. Worse, it could disrupt a future iPad 3 launch allegedly scheduled for March 7 unveiling. So yeah, it is all about money.

Proview representatives presented as court evidence the company’s 2000 iMac-lookalike named IPAD (pictured on the right). The lawyers came down with all guns blazing on Apple, and said: “Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name.” The company’s CEO told reporters “both sides have willingness to negotiate,” and asserted, “both sides will submit their plans before the talks,” because an out-of-court settlement “is quite possible.”

To this, Apple responded:

They have no market, no sales, no customers. They have nothing. The iPad is so popular that it is in short supply. We have to consider the public good.

Reuters followed up with another quote attributed to Apple’s legal team:

Apple has huge sales in China. Its fans line up to buy Apple products. The ban, if executed, would not only hurt Apple sales but it would also hurt China’s national interest.

Explaining Proview has not sold or marketed its IPAD computer system in years while Apple only began selling the iPad tablet in 2010, the company said the fact essentially invalidates Proview’s trademark. Lawyers for Proview cried foul, and claimed any public good achieved through the creation of iPad manufacturing jobs in China and tax revenues should not be confused with trademark infringement:

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Chinese Court: Stores should stop selling iPads; Apple: Proview hurt our reputation, we’ll sue over ‘defamatory statements’


Pictured above: Proview’s iMac-like computer named iPAD, released 12 years ago.

The latest in an ongoing iPad trademark dispute in China comes as Shenzhen-based Proview claims a small victory in its pursue of a $2 billion compensation from Apple over the iPad moniker in China. According to a report filed by The Associated Press, Proview’s lawyer Xie Xianghui told the media Monday that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou ruled last Friday that local distributors should stop selling iPads in the country.

Previous reports declared that commercial authorities in more than 40 Chinese cities were removing the device from store shelves. Apple appealed to Guangdong’s High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview’s favor, stressing in today’s statement its case is still pending in mainland China. It should be noted that Hong Kong’s and Mainland China’s legal systems are not very much alike.

PCWorld followed up with an update and said Apple will sue Proview’s lawyers and bosses for  “defamatory statements.” Folks familiar with Apple’s letter to Proview claim it reads: “It is inappropriate to release information contrary to the facts to the media, especially when such disclosures have the effect of wrongfully causing damage to Apple’s reputation.” The document is embedded below.

So, who is the biggest beneficiary of this brouhaha? Samsung— its Galaxy Tab family of tablets is after the same high-end of the market. Per IDC, Apple in the third quarter of 2011 moved 1.3 million iPads in China versus 58,000 Galaxy Tabs.

Once a well-known display maker, Proview is now strapped for cash and recently filed for bankruptcy. The company maintains it first used the iPAD moniker, which stands for “Internet Personal Access Device,” for its iMac-like computer dated back to 2000.

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iPad 3 w/8 Megapixel camera pictured by Apple Daily publication

Apple Daily today has images of what it claimed is the next iPad compared to an iPad 1 and an iPad 2. You will notice increased tapering and a bigger camera lens. The publication said the camera is a whopping 8-megapixels, which would likely mean it is the same Sony camera found in the iPhone 4S that CEO Howard Stinger first leaked in April of last year. Apple will likely bring some of its optics over, as well.

We first heard reports of 5- to 8-megapixel cameras in the next iPad at the end of last year in a wide-ranging set of reports.

Apple.pro grabbed some images of the print version that seem to show the tapering better.

The iPad 3 picture seems to be coming together but that does not mean there are not going to be some surprises.

Apple Daily also noted new cabling (pictured below): Read more

The price of the iPad name in China has gone up to $2B

Chinese vendor Proview apparently owns rights to the iPad trademark in China, and it has two billion reasons not to honor its prior agreement with Apple as the Wall Street Journal cited a representative of Proview creditors who suggested compensation from Apple “could range as high as $2 billion,” which is up from the previous sum of $1.5 billion. Cash-strapped Proview recently filed for bankruptcy, so courts could interpret this as banks’ last-ditch effort to recoup their loans to Proview.

A Hong Kong court ruled last year that Apple’s agreement with Proview was valid, but that case is still pending on the Chinese mainland. Court documents uncovered by Dow Jones suggest on Dec. 23, 2009, Apple of California bought the rights to the iPad trademark from Proview in South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and China for a paltry sum of about $55,494 in today’s dollars. Proview waived its right to sue for past infringements and passing off.

Proview said it still owns the trademark and maintains the deal did n0t include the China market. Another court in Mainland China sided with Proview, thus paving the way for a potential injunction on both the import and export of iPads. The world’s largest contract manufacturer, Foxconn, is exclusively manufacturing Apple’s tablet in China.

Proview chairperson Yang Rongshan said today: “If we are not compensated properly, then Apple doesn’t use the iPad trademark in mainland China.” Shenzhen-based Proview, once a well-known monitor vendor, claimed it started developing a product called the iPAD in 2000. iPAD stands for “Internet Personal Access Device.” So, what does Proview’s iPAD look like? Images are right after the break.

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Apple finally talks, says Proview refuses to honor agreement to transfer iPad trademark

Numerous online stores in China took the iPad off their shelves after Proview said Apple was breaking its trademark on the term “iPad.” The fight continues in court, but Apple released a statement today to China Daily about Proview’s allegations on Apple allegedly breaking the trademark.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” according to the statement, which also said the case is still pending on the Chinese mainland.”

Apple said it purchased Proview’s iPad trademark over several years ago in 10 different countries. Proview is refusing to transfer the trademark, but Hong Kong courts have already sided with Apple, according to the statement.

Many accuse the Mainland Chinese government of favoring local companies in these types of matters, so it may not be easy to clear this hurdle for Apple. Chinese customs already said the iPad is too powerful to be banned; although, Proview tried to block iPads from coming in or going out of China earlier this week.

Proview countered the Hong Kong situation:

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Proview tries to block iPads from coming in or going out of China

Not content with officials yesterday confiscating iPads in Shijiazhuang over an ongoing litigation on the iPad moniker, Taiwanese company Proview Electronics is now looking to put a ban on both iPad imports and exports, according to Reuters. The company is already petitioning Chinese customs to stop shipments of iPads. Proview sued Apple last year over its “I-PAD” trademark and could seek up to $1.5 billion for the name from the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered gadget powerhouse.

Apple is in an increasingly difficult place here. Considering every iPad is built in China (until Brazil plants go online), a full-blown export ban could disrupt the iPad business on a global scale. Proview’s legal position stems from Chinese laws that seek to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods in the country. The news gathering organization confirmed the development this morning:

A Chinese tech firm claiming to own the “iPad” trademark plans to seek a ban on shipments of Apple Inc’s computer tablets into and out of China, a lawyer for the company, Proview Technology (Shenzhen), said on Tuesday.

Proview also asked the country’s Administration Industry and Commerce to put in effect iPad confiscations in as much as 30 cities. Apple’s position in this dispute remains unchanged as a spokesperson re-iterated the official line:

We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter.

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Apple combats scalpers with new lottery system for iPhone reservations in Hong Kong

Apple has implemented an interested system to fight those pesky scalpers who spoiled a recent iPhone 4S launch in Mainland China. A newly set up page on the Hong Kong Apple online store has a lottery system of sorts for iPhone reservations that appears to target scalpers employing bots from snatching up all the iPhones everyday. Rather than reserve their iPhone on a first-come-first-serve basis, customers are now required to provide full details, including a government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number.

In addition, this lottery seems to be valid during a three-hour window each day. Those who “won” a reservation spot will be informed by email before 9 p.m. Interestingly, Apple specifically said it will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers. Previously, the reservation system would open at a random time and it would often fail as bots kept pinging the server all day, meaning reservations would be gone in less than a minute.

Perhaps Apple is keen on implementing this system in Mainland China and possibly elsewhere? Apple’s full message is included after the break…

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Apple celebrates Year of the Dragon with Jan. 6 ‘Red Friday’ shopping event

Following up on Lucky Bags that were handed out to Japanese Apple customers this weekend, Apple is also celebrating the Lunar New Year with a one day Apple shopping event, dubbed “Red Friday” on Friday, Jan. 6 in China/Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In the past, Apple has given modest discounts to its products for the Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year celebration starts on Monday, Jan. 23.

Gartner: iOS down, Android doubles share

The delayed iPhone launch gave Android vendors additional three months to gain market share whilst negatively affecting Apple, sending shares down ten percent over the past month. Worry not, though – strong iPhone 4S launch and price reductions for both the iPhone 4 and 3GS models are seen as catalyst enabling Apple to regain lost share from Android manufacturers during the current quarter.  Also, remember Apple is still taking more than half of all smartphone profits.

The gist of today’s report from Gartner pegged Apple’s share of the global smartphone market at 15 percent on sales of 17.29 million units, a 21 percent annual increase. But the smartphone market grew at an even faster clip so Apple actually recorded a decline from the 16.6 percent in Q3 2010 on sales of 13.48 million units. Android, meanwhile, has gone from 25.3 percent in Q3 2010 to 52.5 percent in Q3 2011, more than doubling its market share. Together, iOS and Android accounted for more than two-thirds of all smartphones sold (talk about duopoly).

Apple is also under pressure as quarterly iPhone sales decreased compared to the 20.34 million iPhones shipped during the June quarter. Principal research analyst Roberta Cozza said some consumers “were waiting for a rumored new iPhone and associated price cuts on older iPhone models; this affected U.S. sales particularly”.

Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement. Markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to Apple, representing 16 percent of overall sales and showing that the iPhone has a place in emerging markets.

iPhone 4S launches in India, the world’s second-largest market, on November 25. Pre-orders sold out in Hong Kong in 10 minutes and the online Apple Store is now offering unlocked iPhone 4S units. The company pledged to roll out the handset to a hundred carriers in 70 countries by the year’s end, the fastest iPhone roll out yet. Supply chain sources claimed Apple cut holiday quarter iPhone 4S orders, but analysts rushed to dispute that report. How does Apple fare in the whole handset market? Read on…


Source: Gartner (November 2011)

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The competition: Google introduces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus

The keynote went a little bad over in Hong Kong with both the Facial Recognition and the Quick Response features not working or crashing the device. Overall though, there are some interesting new features that certainly differentiate Android from iOS and Windows Phone 7.

As for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone, it has a 5-megapixel camera which has to be a letdown when compared to 8 megapixel cameras that are standardizing on the high end across the industry. Its most impressive feature (unless you are trying to squeeze it into your pocket) has to be the 4.65-inch 720P display. Although Pentile, which means not every pixel gets RGB dots, it does get close to Apple’s 326 PPI Retina display with a 316 PPI density. Like the as yet unpopular Honeycomb tablets, it doesn’t have any front facing buttons but has screen buttons that shift around as well as all of those new Android 4.0 features.

Check 9to5Google.com for ongoing coverage.