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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Apple Store iPhone 5s screen replacements coming to Europe next week

Earlier this week, Apple started replacing iPhone 5s glass screens in Apple Stores for the first time. But the catch is that the service is only available in the United States and Canada. That will change, though, next week. Sources say that the program will expand across Apple’s official retail locations in Europe as soon as Monday, August 11th. The pricing for the screen replacements will likely come in around the equivalent of $150. iPhone 5c screen replacements started across Apple’s locations earlier this year.

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Apple Stores to finally begin iPhone 5s display replacements on August 4th

iPhone screen

Apple will finally begin offering iPhone 5s screen replacements in its official U.S. and Canada retail stores in the coming days, according to several sources. Apple Store Genius Bars are said to have begun taking delivery of large quantities of iPhone 5s screens for the repair program. The crucial service’s debut is currently scheduled for Monday, August 4th. This upcoming rollout will mark an official launch as a few stores in the U.S. have piloted iPhone 5s screen repairs over the past several months. Apple officially rolled out iPhone 5c screen repairs in January, and it began replacing other iPhone 5c and 5s parts late in 2013. The screen replacements will cost approximately $150 per repair, and this is more affordable than the $269 price of completely replacing a broken iPhone 5s.

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Apple profiled for renewable energy in sapphire factory, says supply-chain is now the focus

After showing more journalists around its solar-powered North Carolina data center (where it is building a third solar farm), Apple says that its new focus for renewable energy is its supply chain. The Guardian reports that the sapphire factory in Arizona forms part of this initiative.

The company is also moving to install solar and geothermal power at a plant in Mesa, Arizona that has been manufacturing sapphire glass. Apple would not directly comment on the Arizona factory but the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, has publicly praised the company’s decision to relocate there and to use solar and geothermal in manufacturing.

Apple’s VP of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson said that the company is conscious that its supply chain cannot claim the same green credentials as Apple itself …  Read more

Apple Stores to soon open up iPhone sales via AT&T Next, T-Mobile JUMP, & Verizon Edge

iphone

Apple is preparing a significant expansion of its iPhone sales capabilities in its official retail stores, according to sources. Late in August, many Apple Stores in the United States will kick off a pilot program for customers to be able to purchase a new iPhone via the latest carrier upgrade programs: AT&T Next, T-Mobile JUMP, and Verizon Edge. Currently, iPhones bought at Apple Stores must either be purchased on a two-year deal, or at full-price (unlocked) with no contract…

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Apple & AT&T begin sending $40 checks to original 3G iPad buyers

ipadunlimited

Apple and U.S.-based wireless carrier AT&T have begun sending out $40 checks to buyers of the original iPad WiFi + 3G in the United States over a “bait-and-switch” regarding the device’s data plan. The backstory is that when Steve Jobs announced the 3G iPad in January 2010, he announced a deal with AT&T for a $30/month unlimited iPad data plan.

When the 3G iPad launched in late April 2010, this plan was available, but AT&T eliminated the plan just about one month later in early June 2010. Lawsuits followed in the months and years following the shift in data plan strategy claimed that customers overpaid for the 3G iPad believing that they would be able to use the device to access unlimited amounts of data.

In September 2013, Apple and AT&T settled and agreed to pay $40 to each affected iPad buyer. For iPad buyers who had not yet purchased an unlimited data plan, a discount on the replacing 5GB plan was offered. The two companies began sending the checks out late last week, and they began arriving today. You can view the entire check stub and letter from the payout fund below:

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Volkswagen in talks with Apple to bring CarPlay to 2016 VW models

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.13.10 PM

Volkswagen’s VW line, one of the few notable holdouts from announcing future integration of CarPlay into its vehicles, is in talks with Apple to embed the iOS-based feature, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

An announcement from the two companies is expected in the coming months, but specifics on which models will receive CarPlay are currently unavailable, except sources say that Volkswagen is targeting CarPlay for 2016 models, not 2015 versions…

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Apple debuts iTunes Pass in Japan, allows Passbook-based iTunes credit refills at Apple Stores

itunes pass

Apple today has launched an interesting new service for iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore users in Japan with iPhones and iPod touches. The new service, called iTunes Pass (no, not that iTunes Pass), allows users to go to an Apple Store in Japan, purchase credit in-store for the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore, and have that money immediately applied to the Apple ID account instead of needing to receive a gift card and enter a redemption code…

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Chinese state TV annoyed by NSA, takes it out on Apple

The WSJ reports that the state-run China Central TV has described the iPhone as a “national security concern” due to its location-tracking capabilities.

In its national noon broadcast, state-run China Central Television criticized the “frequent locations” function in Apple’s iOS 7 mobile operating system, which tracks and records the time and location of the owner’s movements. The report quoted researchers who said that those with access to that data could gain knowledge of the broader situation in China or “even state secrets” …

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Fourth Swiss Apple Store coming to Basel on July 12th

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Apple will be opening up its fourth official retail store in Switzerland this weekend. A new store in the city of Basel will see its grand opening on Saturday, July 12th, according to a notice on Apple’s Retail Store website. Job listings for the store first appeared earlier this year on Apple’s jobs website. Apple has already surrounded the store with a black banner promoting the store’s website. Apple is also planning several new stores in China, Italy, and the United States under the guide of recently appointed retail head Angela Ahrendts.

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iPhone & iPad AppleCare+ purchase window extended to 60 days as standard plan discontinued

Applecare

Apple today will be rolling out a couple of significant changes to its AppleCare support offerings. As we detailed in a report last month regarding Apple’s future plans for AppleCare, Apple will making a significant push for its premium AppleCare+ service. AppleCare+ is the iPhone and iPad protection plan offering that provides support for an additional two years (on top of the free 90 days of support) and support for up to two incidents of accidental damage.

Previously, customers were required to buy the plan within 30 days of purchase of an iPhone or iPad, but today’s change brings that purchase window to 60 days. This gives customers more time to decide if they will need enhanced support for their mobile Apple devices. The AppleCare+ plan costs $99 for both recent iPhone and iPad models. The plan can be purchased both via Apple’s Online Store or inside of official Apple retail stores. The AppleCare+ change is supported in all AppleCare+ regions except Japan, where the timeframe remains 30 days…

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Apple’s Ahrendts to oversee slew of new China, Italy, U.S. stores as organizational restructuring planned

Seeking to enhance Apple’s retail store divison and bring the customer experience to higher levels, new Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is planning a fundamental restructuring of Apple’s retail stores as she prepares a series of new store openings across the globe for the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015…

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