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

Apple VP Greg Joswiak talks 70% Japan iPhone market share with Tokyo TV, deflects questions about iPhone 6

TV Tokyo got a quick interview with Apple VP of iPad, iPhone and iPod Marketing Greg Joswiak. In the snippit, cropped above from a longer segment, Joswiak boasts that Apple is approaching 70% iPhone marketshare in Japan – something he attributes to Apple’s  relentless focus on quality and the Japanese consumer’s desire to put quality above cost.

As you’d expect, Joswiak deflects questions about the iPhone 6 to the chagrin of the reporter.

Apple this year landed the biggest Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo which also spurred renewed pricing competition among its competitors allowing Apple’s Japanese marketshare to explode to near 70%.

(via Macotakara) Read more

Apple’s iBooks Textbooks & iTunes U Course Manager hit new markets in Asia, Latin America, Europe

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Update: Apple says iBooks Textbooks are available in all countries with a paid iBooks store and that a full updated list of countries with access to iTunes U Course Manager can be found on its enrollment website.

Apple just put out a press release announcing that it’s expanding availability of its educational content– iBooks Textbooks and the iTunes U Course Manager– into new international markets. Starting today, both of the services are rolling out to new countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, bringing the total number of countries with textbooks up to 51 and the total number with access to the iTunes U Course Manager to 70. Apple also shared some stats on the growth of iBooks Textbooks, which now cover 100 percent of the US high school core curriculum: Read more

Google Play app arrives on iOS to stream movies and shows over WiFi

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Today, Google has released a new application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to allow Google Play users to stream purchased movies and TV shows. You cannot rent or purchase content via this application: you must download it from Google Play on Android or the web and then the purchased titles will be available to stream via this app. The application is only supported in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. WiFi is currently required for streaming. The app also allows streaming to the ChromeCast.

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AAPL stock down as market ponders the mystery of the missing China Mobile deal

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AAPL stock took a 1.8 percent hit in pre-market trading as China Mobile not only failed to announce its iPhone launch today as had been expected, but its chairman Xi Guohua specifically told reporters that the world’s largest carrier had no announcement to make.

While neither Apple nor China Mobile ever officially confirmed today as the launch date, the Chinese government confirmed the date as the one on which 4G service would begin, China Mobile had said it would launch “a new brand” today and the WSJ seemed confident last month that today was the day.

The deal has been a very long time in the coming, but all the pieces of the puzzle looked to have fallen into place …  Read more

Apple’s market share in Japan overtakes USA, with more to come

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Photo: japantimes.co.jp

Apple’s share of the smartphone market in Japan has hit 37 percent, greater than the 36 percent share in the USA, reports the WSJ.

Sales got another boost in late September when NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest wireless carrier, began offering the iPhone for the first time to its 61.8 million customers. Even before that, the iPhone was Japan’s best-selling smartphone, with a 37% market share in the six months ended Sept. 30, according to Tokyo’s MM Research Institute. That’s comparable to the iPhone’s 36% share in the U.S. in the third quarter, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech …  Read more

New report claims China leads demand for iPhone 5s over 5c, 78% of new iPhones globally are 5s

How many of those 9 million first weekend sales were for the iPhone 5s vs the iPhone 5c? There’s been a lot of speculation about how many of each device Apple is selling, and whether or not lack of availability of the gold iPhone 5s is due to low supply or simply the higher demand. Apple is staying quiet on the breakdown of 5s units vs 5c, but today we get some solid insight from Localytics after the research firm tracked over 20 million unique active iPhones since launch day on Friday.

72 hours after the launch of the new devices, Localytics found that China, not the U.S., had the highest relative share of iPhone 5s vs 5c sales.

Globally an average of 78% of new iPhones sold were iPhone 5s models, while China came in at 91% 5s. It’s somewhat surprising considering analysts have largely expected the 5c to do well in China and other emerging markets, but the report speculates that the fact that gold is a popular color in the country could be driving higher demand for the 5s.That compares to the U.S. at 76% and an average of 82% in other countries. It appears the UK has the highest share of 5c sales as “the only country that didn’t have at least a 3 to 1 ratio of 5s  to 5c activations.”

Localytics also tells us that currently “the U.S. accounts for 68% of all active iPhone 5s and 5c devices worldwide, with Japan in second place with 13% of 5s and 5c’sRead more

Long lines forming at Apple Stores around the globe for iPhone 5s/5c retail launch

As online sales for the iPhone 5s begin to go live in Australia, Asia, and now the UK, lines outside of Apple stores around the world are starting to grow in anticipation the September 20th, 8AM retail launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Shipping times for the 5c have been slipping since preorders went live last week, but Apple seems to be in even shorter supply of the iPhone 5s as shipping times are starting at 7-10 days in most countries where online orders have already kicked off.

If you’re expecting to queue up to get your hands on an iPhone 5s like the many customers pictured below, you might want to get in line soon. We learned earlier today that retailers, including Apple stores, are getting little to no Gold and white iPhone 5s units, and will mainly have just the new Space Grey model available in store. However, as we’ve seen following launches in other countries today, the 5s in all colors seems to be in shorty supply even for online orders.

The September 20 iPhone 5s and 5c retail launch will take place in the US, Australia, China, Canada, Germany, France, Singapore, UK, and Japan.

Head below for a look at the long lines starting to form outside Apple Stores around the globe: Read more