Apple Store in Tokyo saves queuing iPhone buyers from approaching typhoon

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Hardcore iPhone fans in Japan already queuing for the 5s and 5c going on sale on Friday weren’t going to be put off by a mere typhoon (hurricane) warning: they continued their vigil outside Tokyo’s Ginza store. Apple Store staff opened the doors at 7.30am, shortly before the typhoon hit, to bring customers inside, reports Kotaku.

They were allowed to bring in their wet possessions, rest in the Apple Store theater until 10am, and were even given bottled water. “I was so moved how Apple treats its customers,” said YouTube user AppTaylor

Video below the fold …  Read more

iPhone expected to become market leader in Japan, thanks to DoCoMo deal

docomo

Photo: mashable.com

Apple is expected to become the market leader in Japan, with the iPhone 5s and 5c forecast to make up 40 percent of all new contracts on Japan’s DoCoMo carrier, reports Nikkei (via CNET).

The 40 percent figure is believed to be the quota that Apple and DoCoMo agreed on, the report said […] This development marks a tectonic shift in DoCoMo’s strategy and the Japanese phone market in general. Domestic phone suppliers like Sharp and Fujitsu are expected to suffer as a result …  Read more

Japan’s largest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo, reportedly in talks to sell iPhone

iPhone-5S-Champagne

iPhone 5S Champagne

Bloomberg is reporting that shares of NTT DoCoMo are rising on rumors that Japan’s largest carrier will get the iPhone this year. The company’s rivals, KDDI and Softbank (who just bought Sprint) both currently carry the iPhone and saw their share price drop in morning trading.

[DoCoMo]Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said there are compelling reasons for Apple and his company to reach an agreement, according to an interview published in SankeiBiz. For Apple, it doesn’t make business sense not to allow Japan’s largest wireless carrier to sell the iPhone, while DoCoMo wants to be able to sell most popular handsets, Sankei said.

The original Sankei article is here (translated) with the relevant bit translated by 9to5Mac reader Kazuto Kusakari:

A new iPhone from Apple is expected in September.  The Japanese market are paying close attention to whether NTT docomo will be selling the new model or not.  Having sold two other models as their main phones in the past summer season, the company is ready, as the vice-president Kazuto Tsubouchi has commented “the only problem is WHEN we are going to sell it.”…

Tsubouchi adds, “Nothing has changed.  It will be difficult (to sell the iPhone on September 10th). But for Apple, it is not economically reasonable to not sell the iPhone on Japan’s largest carrier.  As for NTT docomo, we must sell phone the customers desire.  It’s a matter of terms.

Apple is also working on China’s largest carrier, China Mobile, which also doesn’t currently carry the iPhone. If Apple can hook one or optimally both of these two monster carriers, it will be able to sell significantly more iPhones in Asia. Read more

iPhone 5C shell sized up and shaken down in new video

A new video has made its way online today showing what is allegedly the rear casing of the much rumored plastic-backed, lower-cost iPhone 5C that many expect Apple to officially unveil early next month. The report from Taiwan’s Apple Daily claims to provide some precise measurements for the lower-cost iPhone. Coming in at 24.55mm x 59.13mm x 8.98mm, the iPhone 5C appears to be slightly larger than the iPhone 5 due to the plastic back. The site also put the back shells through a number of scratch resistant tests in the video above and noted that its sources claim the device will include a reinforced material that will protect from everyday wear and tear. The roughly translated report also seems to claim that the iPhone 5S, in addition to the new dual LED flash and gold color option that we previously reported, will come in 3 colors. However, it isn’t clear if it’s referring to just the White/Black and Gold, or additional colors. We’re assuming the shot of the blue iPhone 5S in the video above is for illustration purposes only. Probably. Read more

Apple expands ‘iWatch’ trademark filing world tour to Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, Colombia

In addition to filing a trademark for the name “iWatch” in Russia and Japan, Apple has requested a trademark for “iWatch” with Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property. The Mexico-based filing was made public in recent days, but the request was originally filed on June 3rd. Apple filed the iWatch trademark under two categories relating to the hardware and software of mobile devices, according to the submitted documents. Apple’s submitted “iWatch” graphic in the filing:

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Report: Hon Hai source says 46 to 55-inch Apple TV set in testing, no panel supplier confirmed, 2013 launch unlikely

apple-tv-tree

Last week, a report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple’s much rumored HDTV set is now in the “early stages of testing” with partners Hon Hai Precision and Sharp. Today, we get more details surrounding the rumored product from the Taiwan national news agency’s English language Focus Taiwan. According to the report, citing sources close to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the supplier is testing Apple television designs, but the possibility of the product shipping in 2013 is “unlikely”:

Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.

While the report from WSJ claimed Sharp was involved in the initial testing of the product with Hon Hai, Focus Taiwan’s source claimed the possibility of Sharp displaying panels for the product is “not high”:

Asked whether the new Apple TV will use display panels produced by Japan’s Sharp Corp., the source said the possibility is not high.

The source also claimed that Apple is looking at displays ranging from 46 inches to 55 inches, meaning the company likely wouldn’t rely on Sharp’s plants best suited for production of 60+ inch panels: Read more

Sharp agrees to share technology with Foxconn for new iPhone plant in Chengdu

Reuters reported today, while citing Japanese business daily Nikkei, that Sharp will supply its technology to Hon Hai for a new Foxconn plant that will produce panels for devices like Apple’s iPhone. The move follows an investment from Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision in March, which agreed to buy 46.48-percent of Sharp’s LCD plant in Japan and $844 million in new shares for an 11 percent stake of the company.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp will supply technological know-how to Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co for a plant in China that will produce panels for Apple Inc’s iPhone and other consumer electronics products, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

As for what technology Sharp will provide, the report only specified it will be “aimed at improving quality management” at a future plant in Chengdu. Sharp will reportedly receive “tens of billions of yen in fees” through the partnership, and it announced plans today to buy back Sony Corp’s 7.04-percent stake in its Sakai, Japan-based plant.

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In Japan, iTunes gains ringtones, 3G purchasing, iTunes Plus, Complete My Album, iTunes in the Cloud

Following yesterday’s story by the usually accurate Japanese blog Macotakara on Apple’s Japan arm rolling out iTunes in the Cloud for music, Japanese music journal AV Watch reported this morning that the California-based iPod maker has its sights set high on the 130 million people market. According to the report, customers in Japan are now finally able to purchase and download music on iOS devices through 3G cellular networks rather than just wireless hotspots, as before. The story also quoted Apple’s Senior iTunes Director for the Asia, Pacific, and Canada region Peter Lowe, who confirmed that iTunes Match would roll out to iTunes Japan in the second half of this year.

“We are keeping good relationship with Japanese music publishers,” said Lowe as he highlighted that iTunes Japan’s catalog now includes Sony Music’s Western artists, such as Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and Sade. Interestingly, Apple did not allow the music journal to publish Lowe’s mug shot. In case you were wondering, iTunes in the Cloud files as the first-ever music re-downloading service in Japan. The iTunes Store launched in Japan in 2005…

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For many, issues watching YouTube on Apple TV

Owners of the Apple TV set-top box around the world took to Twitter to complain about an unknown issue affecting the device’s ability to stream YouTube clips through the Internet section of the main menu. According to reports, attempting to play any YouTube clip produces this error message:

No content was found. There is a problem communicating with YouTube. Try again later.

It would appear that some sort of backend issue is to blame, but it is inconclusive. The problem persisted since the past couple days; with a bunch of posts over at the Apple Support Communities indicating it is widespread. One poster claimed an Apple representative advised him to contact Google because this is “a YouTube issue.”

It seems to be particularly bad in Japan, Australia, Canada and various European countries, including the United Kingdom, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, Denmark, Romania, Argentina and Croatia.

Not all users in the United States seem to be experiencing this issue, although some do. Resetting a router or the device will not help. Likewise, performing a factory restore to the latest 4.4.4 firmware did not do the trick for another poster. Some users are only able to see the videos in their History. Are you having same issues with your Apple TV? We would love to hear from you in the comments.


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Sharp rumored to ramp up iTV production in February for summer 2012 launch


An Apple television mockup by Adr-studio.it

More news concerning a rumored television set by Apple that several analysts and some media outlets have been calling for feverishly. According to a blog post published by The Tokyo Times news siteApple has commissioned Sharp to begin manufacturing large displays for an Apple-branded television set. Sharp should ramp up production in January:

American technology giant Apple is shifting partnerships in Japan towards Sharp, eyeing the production of a brand-new TV range which may be called iTV.

The product should hit the market by the summer 2012, the story goes. And according to New York Post, which referenced the original Tokyo Times report:

Apple has taken over the entire plant — pulling out of South Korea and its former partner Samsung — to insure the quality of the new set and to protect its secrecy.

The Tokyo Times story quotes Jefferies analyst Peter Misek as saying that Apple’s rivals have already begun “a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do”. The analyst wrote in a note to clients, based on his visit to Japan and talk with manufacturing executives:

It’s a huge deal for Sharp because they spent significant amounts of capital to try and expand capacity and upgrade their facilities. It gives Apple a partner that they can control manufacturing and secure supply at a lower price.

Please be advised that our confidence in The Tokyo Times isn’t very high…
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KDDI snags Apple’s iPhone in Japan breaking Softbank’s monopoly

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According to a Nikkei Business report (English), another iPhone carrier exclusive country has fallen. Softbank (in blue, above) in Japan has had a monopoly on the iPhone for the past three years in the world’s third largest economy. However, with the release of next iPhone, KDDI/au will carry the device. Both carriers still trail behind the leader NTT, as you can see in the un-translated image above.

According to the report, the iPhone will hit HDDI/au shops in November, a little later than the US expects to see them. If I’m not mistaken, KDDI operates a CDMA network, which is thought to be built into the upcoming worldphone iPhones.

This could still mean big market share gains for Apple in the country that Android hit by storm over the past two years.

KDDI’s shares were up 2.1% at Y642,000, while Softbank’s shares dropped 7.3% to Y2,413.

Apple moves to pull Samsung phones and tablets from Japan, seeks damages

Apple’s patent infringement claims against Samsung now include twelve courts in nine countries on four continents. Reuters reported this morning that Apple is now formally suing Samsung in Japan and seeking to block sales of Samsung phones and tablets in the country:

Apple has filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court seeking the suspension of sales of Galaxy S and its sequel S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7 in Japan, according to sources close to the matter. The first hearing was held on Wednesday, the source said.

The iPhone maker is seeking 100 million yen, or approximately $1.3 million, in damages. Apple previously had filed four complaints before the Tokyo District Court, according to patent expert Florian Müller. Coincidentally, Japan is also another high-revenue market for Apple. Other countries where Apple took Samsung to court include Germany, U.K., U.S., Australia and more.
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