As Apple Watch hits seven more countries, more coming on 17 July – inc Netherlands, Sweden & Thailand


The Apple Watch, originally launched in nine countries, hits seven more today – with a further rollout on July 17th. Apple has so far added the July 17th date to its websites in the Netherlands, Sweden and Thailand.

The countries going live today include Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan …  Read more

Korean report supports KGI prediction that Samsung will make 75% of A9 chips for next iPhone


Korean news site MK Business News (via Reuters) is reporting that Samsung will make 75% of the A9 chip for the next iPhone. This matches an earlier detailed prediction by KGI Research, which stated that the balance of the chips would be made by Global Foundry, and is in line with a statement by Samsung which last year confirmed it as a major supplier of the new chip.

The Samsung-fabbed chips will, says the report, be made in the USA …  Read more

Apple rolls out iPhone 6/Plus to 36 more countries this month


Apple has announced that it will be rolling out the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to an additional 36 countries this month, bringing the total number of markets to 69. The latest rollout will begin with India and Monaco alongside China on Friday.

Apple today announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, will arrive in 36 additional countries and territories across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa by the end of October. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in a total of 69 countries and territories by the end of the month and are on track to be available in more than 115 countries by the end of the year, making this the fastest iPhone rollout ever … 

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


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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Samsung misses analyst estimates, reports $7.1 billion in operating profit for Q2



After warning earlier this month that Q2 didn’t “look too good,” Samsung today released its earnings preview for the second quarter of 2014. The South Korean company reported an operating profit of $7.1 billion (7.2 trillion won), missing analyst estimates of $8 billion (8.1 trillion won). This comes out to a 24 percent drop year over year (via Bloomberg).

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Apple announces iPhone 5 coming to South Korea & 50 more countries in December

iphone 5 lightning box

Apple just issued a press release to confirm the iPhone 5 would land in South Korea and 50 additional countries in December. Apple noted that it has currently launched the iPhone 5 in 47 countries. Moreover, with the December launches announced today, it is on track to meet its goal of 100 countries by the end of the year.

South Korea will officially get the device Dec. 7, while other countries will get access Dec. 14, followed by another launch Dec. 21. Here’s the full list:

iPhone 5 will be available in South Korea on Friday, December 7 and on Friday, December 14 in Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. iPhone 5 will also be available on Friday, December 21 in Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam.

Apple’s full press release is below: Read more

New iPad launches in 12 more countries this Friday, 9 more on April 27





Apple just published a press release that confirms the new iPad will launch in 12 additional countries Friday, April 20. Along with the 12 countries listed below, Apple confirmed an April 27 international launch date for nine more countries:

In addition to South Korea, the new iPad also will be available beginning on Friday, April 20 in Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela. Beginning on Friday, April 27, the new iPad will be available in Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand.

Go past the break for the full press release.
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Without biggest mobile network in China, Samsung gains on Apple in smartphone sales

Bloomberg quotes a Gartner analyst:

“I don’t expect Apple to replace Samsung any time soon,” Gartner analyst Sandy Shen said in an interview. “China Telecom [story] is the nation’s smallest carrier, so the extent to which they can help Apple is quite limited.”

The 16.8 percentage-point gap in China between Cupertino, California-based Apple and Samsung almost doubled from the third quarter. While Samsung is No. 1 and Apple No. 5 in China, the global story is different: Worldwide, Apple passed its Suwon, South Korea-based competitor to become the biggest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter, according to Gartner.

When you consider that the iPhone is not yet made for China’s dominant carrier, which holds two-thirds of a BILLION customers, the news that Samsung is gaining market share on Apple is not surprising (15 million iPhones ride on incompatible China Mobile).

I will be surprised, however, if Apple does not close the gap next year. The sixth-generation iPhone will almost certainly work on China Mobile’s network. Read more

Apple is likely the No. 1 smartphone maker, retaking spot from Samsung with 37M iPhones sold

Apple just announced its Q1 2012 earnings in a press release a few minutes ago, which revealed very impressive numbers from the company. Apple revealed it sold a whopping 37 million iPhones during the holiday quarter, which now gives the company the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer spot —back from Samsung, who previously held the title. Earlier this month, Samsung gave estimates of 35 million phones sold during the holiday quarter. This means Apple beat the company by 2 million.

Check out the full announcement and the live blog coming up in a few minutes for more record setting figures from Apple.

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iPhone 4S buyer’s remorse in South Korea over hardware issues and lack of 4G LTE

You’d think one of the top-rated smartphones by Consumer Reports would become a smash hit in tech-crazy South Korea where people don’t settle for anything less but the very greatest gadgets. Heck, even Hong Kong shoppers turned to South Korea because pre-orders in their home country sold out in ten minutes. But according to Korea Times, local carriers SK Telecom and KT are struggling to hit the promised sales target agreed with Apple.

They apparently sold below 150,000 pre-orders since the device hit South Korea November 4. The story came from the mouth of an unnamed SK Telecom executive and a 31-year-old iPhone 4 user who dropped a planned iPhone 4S purchase due to “hardware-related issues”.

Seriously? Didn’t we establish battery woes as software-driven? The report cites other woes such as noises during 3G-based calls and while operating video functions. Let’s be honest here, iPhone 4S does have its share of teething problems, just like any other Apple product. But the South Koreans appear to be really freaking out over a lack of 4G LTE:

The rising appetite for LTE smartphones in South Korea replaces any desire for the Apple iPhone 4S, officials and experts said.

4G LTE has hit the ground running in the country. Carriers SK Telecom and LG Uplus sold over 500,000 pricey LTE plans since late-September introduction. The Korea Communications Commission expects the number of LTE phone users in the country to top 1.5 million by the year’s end. Not having support for 4G LTE radio technology on the iconic device in the 48 million people market that is leading the world in Internet speeds and is defined by the demanding, tech-savvy consumers? Yeah, this can lead to some friction.

Besides, Siri doesn’t speak Korean (yet) and South Korea is also Samsung’s home turf. And it’s not like iPhone 4S users in some other markets aren’t feeling buyer’s remorse. Us? Forget the handset, it’ll be old news by the next summer anyway. What matters is that with the iPhone 4S came Siri, an exclusive feature deemed a world-changing event, and rightfully if we may add.

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