Asia Stories February 8, 2016

Apple-music-taiwan

Following the most recent Apple Music launch for users in Turkey last week, the subscription music streaming service and accompanying Beats 1 radio station have now officially launched in Taiwan.

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Asia Stories November 5, 2015

Apple opens subsidiary company for direct distribution in its fastest-growing iPhone market

Apple has opened a subsidiary company in Vietnam, its fastest-growing iPhone market, reports Reuters.

Apple Vietnam Limited Liability was established on Oct. 28 with a registered capital of 15 billion dong ($672,194), according to a news announcement recorded on Vietnam’s national business registry website.

The company will ‘conduct wholesale business,’ read: directly import and distribute iPhones within the country. Apple tripled its sales in Vietnam in the first half of last year – a higher growth rate than in either China or India, though of course among a far smaller population.

Photo: thousandwonders.net

Asia Stories October 26, 2015

Grand_Park_Orchard_-_Facade

Pure Fitness has sent an email to its customers reporting that its branch at 170 Orchard Road in Singapore will be closing at the end of the year to make way for a new Apple Store set to open in late 2016, reports TechInAsia.

Pure and other tenants will be handing back space to make way for the opening of a new Apple store in late 2016.

It made the same statement in a later press release. While this is an unconfirmed report, the location would make sense …  expand full story

Asia Stories June 1, 2015

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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Asia Stories March 17, 2015

China’s gold consumption suggests Apple Watch Edition is aimed at China, says Om Malik

China’s voracious appetite for gold suggests that this might be the key market for the solid gold Apple Watch Edition, says former GigaOM founder Om Malik.

There is a love affair between the Chinese and gold jewelry. The gold consumption in that country is going through the roof. (In 2014, the worldwide consumption of gold fell and yet, China demand still stayed strong.) […]

Some believe that the Apple Watch Edition (the expensive kind) will find more takers in China than anywhere else in the world.

It has previously been suggested that it was Asia, and China in particular, which drove the successful decision to start offering iPhones, iPads and now the new MacBook in a gold color.

China is of course a huge market for Apple, the company’s revenues there rising from $12.7B in 2011 to almost $30B last year. Year-on-year revenue growth in China was 17% last year, more than double the growth in Europe and four times that of the Americas.

Apple last year announced plans to increase the number of Apple Stores in China from 15 to 40 in two years, six of them since opened. Retail head Angela Ahrendts listed an emphasis on the country as one of her three key goals.

Asia Stories February 2, 2015

queens-center

Apple is preparing three major new Apple Stores for New York, with two of the stores reaching major new markets for the first time. Apple is developing the first stores for the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, while a new store for the Upper East Side of Manhattan on 74th Street and Madison is also in development, according to sources.

The first Apple Store for Queens will be located in the Queens Center Mall on the second floor. One source says this store will be the largest Apple retail outlet located in a New York mall to date, and Apple is expecting revenues for this store to even beat out some of its flagship counterparts located elsewhere in the state. The store is under construction and is expected to open later in 2015, but an official announcement may come sooner…

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Asia Stories December 19, 2014

A screengrab from the documentary showing workers sleeping on the production-line

A screengrab from the documentary showing workers sleeping on the production-line

The full BBC documentary on working conditions in iPhone factories has been unofficially uploaded to YouTube. It probably won’t be too long before it gets pulled, so if you want to see it, watch it while you can – we’ve embedded the full video below …  expand full story

apple-china

In a letter to UK staff, Tim Cook is said to have been “deeply offended” by allegations made in a BBC undercover documentary that Apple had broken promises over the working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories in China, reports the Telegraph.

In an email to around 5,000 staff across the UK, Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said both himself and the chief executive were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way”.

“Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions,” he continued. “Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Williams said that Apple had provided both “facts and perspective” on the allegations, but the BBC had chosen not to include these in the program …  expand full story

Asia Stories December 17, 2014

apple-pay

A new UK job listing posted on Apple’s website and uncovered by iClarified indicates that the company is planning to expands its payment service into Europe and elsewhere. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Apple wants to put its iPhone 6-based payment system into as many hands worldwide as possible, but this is one of the first indications of a move in that direction.

The intern will be part of a new London-based team that will help roll the product out across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Specifically the intern will be responsible for handling contracts and non-disclosure agreements between Apple and third-parties like banks and retailers.

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Asia Stories November 12, 2014

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China looks set to reduce Apple’s manufacturing costs by removing import tariffs on components imported into the country.

Apple uses components from a number of countries around the world, notably Korea and Japan, which are imported into China for the assembly of iPhones, iPads and Macs. China currently imposes import tariffs on these components. The new deal would allow companies like Apple, Microsoft and HP to bring components into China free from these charges …  expand full story

Asia Stories August 18, 2014

We raised the possibility yesterday of the iPhone 6 including a redesigned USB to Lightning cable that allows the USB end of the cord to be inserted into a USB port in either direction. In other words, like the Lightning connector, the next Apple USB cable could be reversible. Leaks of the purported cables have been flowing quickly out of Asia-based areas surrounding the Apple supply chain, and now Sonny Dickson has shared a video of the cable in action. While the video does not show the iPhone actually syncing with the new USB cord, the video does show the cable being inserted in both directions into a standard USB port. This lines up with a recent Apple patent, which is for a USB connector that can be inserted in either direction into currently existing USB hubs.

You can watch the videos and see the new photo below:

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Asia Stories August 15, 2014

Asia-based rumor site Apple Daily has acquired photos of what it claims are the next-generation iPhone, including the 5.5-inch model we’ve seen much less of in recent weeks. The two photos above show the larger device (with the purple interior) paired with a 4.7-inch version. The wider 5.5-inch model is to the right and the 4.7 display panel is on the left. While some may note that the part on the right does not appear much larger than the part on the left, it is possible that the image’s perspective does not highlight the size differentiation well.

The larger model, which Apple Daily claims will be called ‘iPhone 6L’ also sports a larger 2915mAh battery (seen below), compared to the 1810mAh in the 4.7-inch device and 1560 mAh in the iPhone 5s. The larger display area and form-factor allows Apple to squeeze a much larger battery pack into the phone, but it is currently unclear if this will mean stronger battery life. It’s uncertain if the larger display and more powerful chip rumored for the bigger phone will counterbalance the effects of the bigger battery pack…

Keep reading for more photos

Asia Stories April 2, 2014

applestore-zorlu-shady@dh-4

Turkish websites DonanimHaber and iPhoneTurka provide our first look at Apple’s first Turkish store now the covers have been removed, revealing a mostly-glass design. Like the iconic 5th Avenue store in NYC, what is visible above ground is simply an empty glass space, though in this case it’s a lower and more subtle skylight than the famous glass cube.

More photos below …  expand full story

Asia Stories March 3, 2014

Apple adding hundreds of new engineers and operations staff in China to speed development of larger iPhones

Apple is on a mass hiring spree for Asian staff, beginning in the middle of last year, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal says that Apple is trying to speed up product development in China and Taiwan to help launch a larger lineup of devices. Apparently, the company is aggressively hiring away from HTC and other firms to form strong product teams in Asia.

Asia Stories February 4, 2014

turkey

A Turkish government website reporting on Tim Cook’s meeting with President Abdullah Gül says that the country’s first Apple Store will open in Istanbul in April. Istanbul, which uniquely straddles Europe and Asia, is one of the largest cities in the world by population with over 14 million residents.

In addition to a rumored $4 billion plan to put iPads into Turkish schools, it was said that the two discussed the amount of sales taxes levied on iPhones and iPads and when Apple might include Turkish in the languages supported by Siri with at least some suggesting that the two issues might be linked … expand full story

Asia Stories January 21, 2014

iTunes U, Text Books

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: expand full story

Asia Stories January 16, 2014

Apple keeps its options open with patent for iBeacon- & NFC-compatible secure payment system

While it seems likely that Apple is intending to eventually establish iBeacon as a wireless electronic wallet system, rather than the existing NFC system commonly used in parts of Europe and Asia, a patent filing published today incorporates both protocols. It also allows for other forms of Bluetooth payment.

The secure payment system Apple describes would work in much the same way as the chip-and-PIN cards which are well-established in Europe. Instead of transmitting your actual card details to the payment terminal, the card details are used to generate an encrypted code which is sent instead. The terminal is able to validate the code and identify the account without ever having access to the card details themselves.

As we always note with patent stories, Apple patents huge numbers of things, most of which never make it into products. But while Apple is adopting its usual wait-and-see policy where new technologies are concerned, the question of using iPhones for payment is almost certainly when and how rather than if.

Asia Stories January 6, 2014

Apple announces January 10th ‘Red Friday’ sale for its Asia online and physical stores

Apple has announced its “Red Friday” sale for the Asian online and physical retail stores. The sale will offer one-day discounts on Apple products, much like “Black Friday” in the United States, to celebrate the new lunar year at the end of January.

Apple hasn’t specified exactly what specials will be offered, but price cuts on Macs and mobile devices is the usual for these sales.

Asia Stories December 11, 2013

appleTV

Unlike its developer program and vast ecosystem of apps on iOS and Mac, there’s not much we know about Apple’s strategy for content on the Apple TV. There’s been a lot of talk that a much rumored refreshed Apple TV set top box— or perhaps even the rumored full-fledged TV set— might also come alongside a more open developer platform with app distribution.

For now, however, Apple is slowly and quietly behind closed doors making deals with select content partners that are building apps for the platform. How is Apple working with developers to build and approve these apps? Does it have an Apple TV SDK that could in theory be released to all developers? With Bloomberg TV today becoming the latest app to launch on the platform, we’ve talked with the people that built the app to get some insight into the Apple TV development process. expand full story

Bloomberg-Apple-TV-01

Following Apple’s steady release of new content and features for its existing Apple TV platform in recent months, this week it adds yet another as Bloomberg becomes the first channel to live stream business news 24/7 to Apple TV customers. We spoke with Bloomberg’s head of mobile Oke Okaro who told us all about the new Apple TV app.

The majority of the content you’ll find in the new app is the same Bloomberg TV content you’ll find on its website and in its mobile apps but specifically optimized for the larger screen. That includes a live stream of business news, on-demand content with a mix of full TV show episodes and clips, and a special live stream that will appear only for events and breaking news. While there is similar news programming already on the Apple TV through apps like The Wall Street Journal and SkyNews, Bloomberg will be the first to have a 24/7 live stream of business news. That’s compared to the WSJ app which often only live streams content on certain hours throughout the day. It’s also going beyond the other news apps by offering all of its content for free in full-length form in addition to integration with its iOS apps coming in a future update. expand full story

Asia Stories September 5, 2013

20111201.01.iPhone5docomo

Japan’s largest mobile carrier, DoCoMo, will finally begin selling the iPhone this fall, according to Nikkei. Apple and DoCoMo reportedly recently came to an agreement, and reports regarding the discussions emerged late last month.

With Apple announcing two new iPhones next week, it is likely that DoCoMo will carry the new devices. Apple will be announcing a successor to the iPhone 5 (the iPhone 5S) as well as a lower-cost, plastic backed iPhone 5 geared towards emerging markets. 

Earlier today, chatter increased regarding other next-generation iPhone launches in China, including debuts on China Telecom and China Mobile

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Asia Stories January 22, 2013

Apple investing $3M to open first retail store in Indonesia, resume direct online sales

Apple plans to create an online retail presence in Indonesia, according to a report from NZWeek (via TNW), as well as open its first retail location in the country with a new store in the capital city, Jakarta. Confirmation of the investment comes from the country’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). It has approved Apple’s application to open up shop in the country, and the report claimed Apple is looking to invest $2 million to $3 million USD in the capital city of Jakarta to open its first brick-and-mortar retail location.

[tweet https://twitter.com/marioyohanes/status/292821729573756928]

Just last month, Apple started selling the iPhone 5 in close to 50 new countries including Indonesia. The country also started receiving access to iTunes music and movies last month with the rollout of the service to 56 new countries.

As noted in the report, Foxconn is investing $10 billion USD to open a new hardware manufacturing plant in Indonesia with construction slated to kick off this year. TNW pointed out that Apple actually sold products in Indonesia from 2008 to 2010 before stopping due to difficulties with shipping out of Singapore.

Asia Stories October 18, 2012

We told you a couple weeks back that Apple plans to open its third retail store in Beijing on Oct. 20. The new Wangfujing Street store will open at 9 a.m., but Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett today gave press in Beijing a preview of the three-story location that happens to be Apple’s biggest retail store in Asia. Browett also confirmed Apple will open another store in Shenzhen.

Below, we get some shots of the new store’s 360-degree Genius Bars, three-story glass staircase, and more (courtesy of M.I.C Gadget): expand full story

Asia Stories September 28, 2012

Apple’s tight control over its Asian supply chain profiled

In a wide-ranging report on Apple’s Taiwan supply chain, the Mercury News reports on the incredible sway Apple has over the manufacturing markets in Asia. One little part of the story is notable, however:

An Apple engineer called to inquire about TeamChem’s new conductive adhesive technology that, among other things, would allow chips to be mounted directly on an iPhone circuit board, eliminating the need for tiny sockets. This would lower manufacturing costs, increase the speed in which the devices roll off assembly lines and allow them to be even thinner. The adhesive, which has yet to be mass produced, could also be used on flexible circuit boards for future devices with flexible panels.

It is interesting that the suppliers talk in one breath about how Apple will cut them off if any technical information is leaked, but they are leaking technical information to a media outlet in the next sentence.

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