Apple Watch fitness lead Jay Blahnik holding Apple Store events in Asia & Australia

Screenshot 2015-06-01 10.22.19

Jay Blahnik, one of the lead directors behind the health and fitness functionality in iOS 8 and the Apple Watch, is continuing to host events at Apple Stores. At the end of April, Blahnik held an interview with Christy Turlington Burns at an Apple Store in the United Kingdom, and now Blahnik is making his way to Australia and Asia. Late last week, Blahnik held a Q/A session in Australia with personal trainer Michelle Bridges. Here are videos of Blahnik discussing the importance of walking along with other health tips with Bridges:

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All Apple Stores to begin stocking 12-inch MacBook at end of May

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

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…

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Apple building funky-looking R&D center in Yokohama, Japan, opening next year

yokohama

This render provides our first look at Apple’s plan to build a sizeable new R&D center in Japan. We first heard that Apple would be building a facility “on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centers in Asia” from the Japanese Prime Minister late last year.

Japanese news site NHK reports that the center will be built on the outskirts of Yokohama, the second biggest city in Japan after nearby Tokyo. The city’s mayor announced in a news conference that Apple had purchased the remains of a Panasonic factory on the site, and would be building a 25,000 square meter facility over four floors. The scale of the building would suggest that it could accommodate around several hundred employees, though Apple may of course be allowing for future expansion. Read more

Apple and IBM rolling out MobileFirst iOS enterprise apps localized for Japan

Apple-IBM

Following the release of the MobileFirst suite of iOS enterprise apps last year, the result of a new partnership between Apple and IBM, today the companies are rolling out the apps to the Japanese market.

The companies haven’t made an official announcement yet, but sources close to the situation say seven apps are arriving for Japanese customers today. Read more

Apple Watch Shop signage goes up at Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Apple Watch Store japan

At the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Apple is building a store specifically for the Apple Watch on the ground floor. Macotakara thinks it might be a permanent fixture because it is listed in the mall directory below.

Japan is one of the 9 countries where the Apple Watch will launch on April 24th. Earlier this week we saw the size of the Apple Watch Store at Galleries Lafayette in Paris and at London Selfridges. Apple also began advertising for its Apple Watch in its traditional stores this week.

This will take some getting used to. Imagine a world where there is an Apple Store on one side of the mall and an Apple Watch store on the other like so many Starbucks.  Read more

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

tokyo-007

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

components

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