Belgium Stories October 9, 2015

iPhone 6s/Plus goes on sale in 36 more countries today, with a further 6 tomorrow

Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 6s/Plus beyond the dozen launch countries kicks off today, with customers in 36 more countries able to get their hands on the new devices. This follows Apple making SIM-free phones available in the USA.

The countries are Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Those in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will have to wait until tomorrow, while there’s a further week to go before sales open up in India, Malaysia and Turkey. Apple has promised that the new iPhones will be on sale in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

Apple sold more than 13 million iPhones in the opening weekend. If you’re still on the fence, some recent pieces that may help are my iPhone 6s diary, a video of the best 3D Touch features, plus a comparison video and opinion piece on the 6s versus 6s Plus.

Belgium Stories September 14, 2015

Apple video showcases the art & artists behind the opening of its new Brussels store

In the run-up to Saturday’s opening of the first Apple Store in Belgium, Apple has uploaded a video showcasing the artists behind the comic art it is featuring on the hoardings outside the store. Brussels is known for its comic art, with many young artists moving there to further their careers.

Apple asked 20 artists to each create five images to help tell the story of the city. The paintings are displayed along with the slogan ‘The creativity continues.’

Featuring local artists at soon-to-be-opened stores seems to now have become standard practice for Apple. We’ve seen calligraphy used in Hangzhou, a combined painting and photo in Chongqing, and a mural in Miami.

Belgium Stories September 4, 2015

brussels

Apple has now officially confirmed the opening date of its first Belgian retail store, opening in Brussels on 19th September. The date is shown on the hoarding outside the new store, located on Avenue de la Toison d’Or (also known as Gulden Vlieslaan), and was confirmed by Apple to ANV.

The wording on the hoarding reads ‘Creativity, to be continued,’ and features paintings by local artists (below). The store is a large one, at 1500 square metres, reports iCulture. The store is not yet shown on Apple’s website.

We first saw job listings for Apple Store-specific roles in Brussels as long ago as December 2014, with more seen in May of this year …  expand full story

Belgium Stories June 2, 2015

Job listings suggest second Belgian Apple Store on the way, in Antwerp

Apple recently confirmed that it’s opening its first Apple Store in Belgium, in the capital Brussels. Job listings spotted by Dutch site iCulture suggest that a second Belgian store will follow, in Antwerp.

According to the job descriptions, Apple is looking for staff in the “province of Antwerp.” An exact city or location is not listed, but linked with the vacancy is a map of the city of Antwerp indicating that the store will be located in the center of Antwerp and not in a mall outside of town.

One suggested location has been the former Trade Fair building (above), due to be refurbished as a Marriott hotel with possible retail space beneath.

Apple is set to open the world’s largest Apple Store in Dubai later this year. The company is also preparing to finally make the Apple Watch available for sale in its retail stores.

Belgium Stories May 20, 2015

le-toison-dor-01

New Brussels shopping complex<em> La Toison d’Or</em>

Apple is getting closer to taking its retail stores to a new market: Belgium. According to sources within Apple retail, Apple today sent out a memo announcing the new market. The note also was sent to gauge interest from employees who may be inclined to relocate to Belgium to assist with opening up the new location…

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Apple Pay coming to Belgium this summer, KBC Bank tweets (Updated)

Update: KBC Bank has retracted its original statement, now saying in a second tweet that Apple Pay is “not yet in scope.”

Apple Pay may be making its way to Belgium following WWDC, KBC Bank indicated on Twitter today. The bank recently added NFC support to its payment cards, prompting a customer to ask if the institution would ever add support for Apple Pay.

The bank replied that the service would be available starting this summer, indicating a possible announcement at WWDC. Other countries and financial institutions worldwide are likely to gain support as well around that time.

[tweet https://twitter.com/KBC_BE/status/601038434451460096 align=’center’]

Belgium Stories December 5, 2014

(RED) Apple Store logo

(RED) Apple Store logo

As it continues to expand its global reach through its retail stores, Apple has begun recruiting for Apple Store-specific positions in Brussels through job listings posted online. As MacGeneration points out, the upcoming Apple Store opening in the capital city will mark Apple’s first retail location in Belgium. expand full story

Belgium Stories August 27, 2014

apple-on-campus-16_9

Mac4Ever is reporting that Apple has confirmed that the Apple on Campus program, allowing students to buy significantly discounted Macs and accessories via their college, is no longer available in either Belgium or Switzerland. The confirmation was provided in a one-line response by Apple Switzerland.

Yes, Apple on Campus was stopped. However, the Apple Education Store discounts are obviously still valid …

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Belgium Stories August 22, 2014

VPP

Apple today expanded its App Store Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to 16 important new regions. Here are the new areas:

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Belgium Stories July 10, 2014

Volume-Purchase-Program

Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion and now list the following countries as coming soon to the program: expand full story

Belgium Stories March 4, 2014

Image: belgium-iphone.lesoir.be

Belgian Apple Store concept image: belgium-iphone.lesoir.be

A Belgian judge is reportedly considering ordering local ISPs to block access to all Apple websites in the country in response to a long-running dispute over the company’s promotion of AppleCare warranties, according to local newspapers cited by Tech.eu.

A case brought by the consumer protection group FPS Economy argued that Apple misleads consumers by claiming a standard warranty of one year, and selling an optional AppleCare extension, when EU law means that manufacturers are legally obliged to offer a minimum warranty of two years as standard …  expand full story

Belgium Stories June 12, 2013

Apple changes wording of warranty policy in EU to clarify two year guarantee

Update 2: The changes appear to be EU wide as pictured above.

Update: Apple updated its warranty policy in France and Germany too. (Thanks @settebit)

Belgian consumer groups have been following the move of Italian regulators in recent months to push Apple for changes to its warranty programs in order to clarify rules regarding a statutory warranty enforced by EU law that requires companies to make sure products are free from defects for two years. It isn’t the only other nation pushing for changes to warranties, consumers groups in at least Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal had also filed lawsuits against Apple over its AppleCare and warranty practices. Now, Dutch-language a-n-v.be reports Apple has tweaked its online warranty program in Belgium to meet EU law.

The change in the online warranties tweaks the wording of Apple’s 1-year warranty for free repair and replacements to clarify the 2 year statutory warranty, much the same as what happened in Italy.

Apple published a document on its website highlighting the changes.

Belgium Stories January 15, 2013

Belgian consumer group files complaint against Apple over AppleCare warranty practices

Apple agreed to comply with Italian regulators’ requests last year to alter AppleCare warranties in the country after being fined $1.2 million (and an additional $264,000) for “misleading consumers” regarding two-year warranties mandatory by European Union law. We expected to hear much more about AppleCare in other EU countries that also employ the mandatory, free, two-year warranty, and now Belgian consumer watchdog Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats has filed a complaint to escalate its case (via TechCrunch):

For many years warranty issues are at the top of the charts of complaints dealt with Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats. One of the recurring problems are the complaints about Apple. Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats found major problems fixed on the information provided by Apple and its authorized distributors regarding the legal guarantee, the commercial one year warranty, and the warranty extension through the “AppleCare Protection Plan” of 2 or 3 years.

In March 2012, consumer groups from 10 countries requested Apple make changes to its warranty policies after the case in Italy. The Belgian consumer group was one of them but filed a complaint today with local courts because “Apple remained deaf to the demands.”

During negotiations with Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, Apple ultimately changed its warranty policies on its website, terms and conditions, and even removed AppleCare from brick-and-mortar store shelves.

Belgium Stories May 31, 2012

Nuance releases Dragon Express Mac app in 7 additional countries, 3 new languages

Nuance announced it is releasing the Dragon Express Mac App Store app today to seven new countries in three new languages. Originally released last year, the app is now available in the following countries for around $50:

Dragon Express 1.1 now supports the French language in Canada, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the German language in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and the Italian language in Italy.

AustriaBelgiumFranceGermanyItalyLuxembourgSwitzerland (French)Switzerland (German)

According to iPhonehellas [translated], Nuance also held a press event today in Greece to announce the availability of Dragon Dictation for June 6.

The full press release from Nuance is below:

Nuance’s Dragon Express for Mac OS App Store Now Available in French, German and Italian Languages

BURLINGTON, Mass., – May 31, 2012 – Nuance Communications, Inc., (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that its Dragon Express App, an introductory voice recognition app for Mac OS X Lion, has debuted in seven additional countries, supporting three additional languages. Dragon Express 1.1 now supports the French language in Canada, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the German language in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and the Italian language in Italy. Available exclusively for download from Apple’s Mac App Store, Dragon Express is an easy and fun way to put words to work without the hassle of typing, allowing users to do more in less time.

Released in late 2011, Dragon Express quickly rose to the top of the charts in the Mac App Store. It’s a fast, hands-free way to quickly turn speech into text, whether sending email, surfing the Web or posting an update to Facebook and Twitter. Dragon Express is priced to provide people with an opportunity to experience the power and performance of speech recognition.

“The excitement for Dragon Express has been overwhelming, and we’ve heard our customers’ requests for additional language support,” said Peter Mahoney, chief marketing officer, senior vice president and general manager, Dragon, Nuance Communications. “We know that people around the world are embracing speech as a useful and fun interface, and we’re excited to bring the Dragon Express app to a broader worldwide audience.”

Dragon Express can be conveniently accessed from the menu bar at any time and doesn’t require a network connection. Users dictate directly into the Dragon Express window, using the internal Mac microphone or a USB headset microphone (which can be purchased via http://www.nuance.com), and the text instantly appears in the Dragon Express window. When finished, Dragon Express places the transcribed text into the application of choice. The download comes with a short enrollment so that the app can better recognize a user’s unique voice.

Dragon Dictate, the most full-featured and advanced speech recognition software for Mac OS, was recently updated to version 2.5. Dragon Dictate 2.5 includes many features beyond those in Dragon Express. These features include the ability to dictate directly into applications, edit, format and correct recognition errors by voice, open and close applications by voice, control the mouse by voice, create custom voice commands and support for the Dragon Remote Mic app for iPhone.

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