Apple’s satellite office trend continues with announcement of R&D facility in Japan

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Apple’s apparent trend of expanding its R&D efforts beyond Cupertino continues with the announcement of a “large research and development facility” in Japan.

While few details were given in local media reports (via Reuters), the source of the information appears rather reliable – a statement by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo …  Read more

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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‘The iPhone 6 Effect’ helping boost Asian economies by as much as 8.6 percent, say analysts

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Component orders by Apple for the iPhone 6 are a significant factor in the current thriving state of a number of Asian economies, say analysts and government officials cited by the WSJ.

Analysts expect companies from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea that supplied earlier versions of the iPhone to produce key components like displays, camera lenses and microprocessors. Already, some of those companies are announcing increased earnings or forecasts, and economists and analysts are talking about an Apple effect on whole sectors and economies …

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Asus reportedly sold more tablets than Apple in Japan during first half of 2014

Image via TechSmartt

Image via TechSmartt

According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. Read more

Claimed photos emerge of “more durable” Touch ID sensor for iPhone 6

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French site NWE has posted photos from Japan of what it claims is the Touch ID sensor for the iPhone 6.

The photos don’t give anything away, with the only visible differences being in the location of screw holes – which is to be expected given the significant redesign of the new model iPhone.

There have been rumors that Apple has made changes to the Touch ID sensor to improve durability, but there’s nothing here to shed any light either way. For whatever it may be worth, though, you can see the second photo below …  Read more

Impressive new Omotesando Apple Store Tokyo set to open on June 13th

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Last month we showed you the new Apple Store in Portland as well as to soon-to-open location in Madrid, and now photos of a new, multi-level glass Apple Store are starting to surface from Japan. The gigantic retail location is located on the Omotesando avenue alongside several other flagship retailers and is set to open to the public on Friday, June 13th, as invitations to attend the day one experience have already been sent out. More photos below… Read more

Apple announces NTT DoCoMo version of iPad coming to Japan June 10th

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An Apple press release published today announced the impending availability of the iPad on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo carrier. According to the release, both the iPad Air and iPad mini will be available on the largest Japanese carrier on June 10th. The carrier has supported the iPhone since late 2013.

Both tablets will work with the DoCoMo LTE network. The company’s iPad LTE plans are already listed on its website, though you won’t actually be able to buy the device just yet. Both models will be available for pre-purchase on June 2nd, the same day Apple will be kicking off its Worldwide Developers Conference.

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Apple loses top North America sales VP Zane Rowe, Japan & Korea sales head Doug Beck to subsume role

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Just hours after disclosing the upcoming retirement of Communications VP Katie Cotton, Apple has disclosed that Vice President of Sales for North America is, too, leaving Apple. Apple VP Doug Beck, who currently runs sales for Japan and Korea, will add North America to his portfolio of responsibilities. Apple told the WSJ: Read more

Strong iPhone 5s sales sees Apple gain market share in Japan, Australia, UK, France & Spain

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Kantar data showed that Apple saw its smartphone market share rise in five out of nine countries surveyed “primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5s.”

The iPhone gained market share in Japan, Australia, UK, France and Spain, with its strongest growth in Japan, where first quarter market share grew by 8.6 percent, from 49 percent in 2013 ro 57.6 percent in 2014. Apple’s success in the country followed a deal with Japan’s largest wireless carrier, DoCoMo.

Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network. The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple …

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Physical iPhone 6 mockups & upcoming accessories shown off at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

Following a number of leaks claiming to show prototypes, cases, and manufacturing tools for the next-generation iPhone, today yet another leak of a physical iPhone 6 mockup has popped up via Japanese blog Macotakara.jp. The site posted images from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair taking place from April 13-16 that apparently show mockups of the iPhone 6 used by case makers to create cases and accessories they plan to launch alongside the new iPhone.   Read more