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Tag - Australia
The lack of support for Apple Pay by Australian banks has forced regulatory bodies to examine the reasons behind the slowness. The Reserve Bank of Australia has been called upon to look into alleged anti-competitive behavior in the card-free payments market, over claims banks are not signing up for Apple Pay support in favor of using their own systems, something which is said to damage customer choice for mobile payment services.
In addition to today's update of the iOS 9.2 beta, Apple has also released a developer-only third tvOS 9.1 beta. The upcoming update, expected to be released early next year, will add promised but thus far missing features such as Siri control of Apple Music (Apple has already added Siri control of general searches and iTunes Match support). Also found in testing was some support for "app folders" as seen in iCloud.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded personally to the allegations of racial discrimination in the Melbourne, Australia Apple store. Saying that "none of us are happy with the way this was handled" the CEO reminded all Apple employees that "Apple is open" and that "this was an isolated incident rather than a symptom of a broader problem in our stores."
An Apple Store in Australia has come under fire this week, for allegedly racially profiling a group of teenagers. A video has been posted online showing a member of staff at Melbourne's Highpoint Shopping Centre store telling six students to leave the store on Tuesday, under the grounds that security guards at the store are "just a bit worried about your presence in our store," and that the students could potentially "steal something."
Apple is expanding the number of countries Apple Pay will operate within, via a partnership with a credit card company. Advised as part of today's earnings call, Apple Pay will be usable in Australia and Canada for American Express customers before the end of this year, with American Express users in Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong also expected to be able to use the payment service when it becomes available next year.
Apple has launched a corporate bond sale in Australia managed by Goldman Sachs, Commonwealth Bank, and Deutsche Bank, marking its first such sale in Australian dollars. Launched as a "benchmark-sized" sale, one which would usually involve raising somewhere between AU$500 million and AU$1 billion ($365 million and $730 million) , the orders for this particular sale reached AU$1.2 billion ($877 million) within just two hours of being available to purchase.
Apple Pay's entry into Australia may face delays, as negotiations with financial institutions are allegedly stalling over money. Major banks are pushing back over how much of the interchange fees, charges paid by merchants to use a card payment platform, will end up being handed over to Apple, as apparently the fees collected by Australian banks are far less than those collected by platforms operating in the United States.
Australian carrier Telstra is offering free subscriptions for Apple Music to its customers. Subscribers acquiring the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus from the company on a 12-month or 24-month Go Mobile plan will be able to use the Apple-powered music streaming service for one year without paying a separate subscription, with the carrier's marketing suggesting it will be implementing carrier billing of Apple Music once the free period is over.
Apple Stores in Australia and the UK are now preparing for in-store Apple Watch sales, which is likely foreshadowing the arrival of such sales in the US as well. Not all models are yet available, but Sport and regular (stainless steel) Watch models are showing as being in stock at most stores, while other models are still only available for online ordering. Customers must make a reservation online and then schedule an in-store pickup time.
Apple has added a handful of new channels to Apple TV units in the US, Canada, the UK, French- and German-speaking regions in Europe, and Australia today. Starting immediately, US owners can now watch CBS Sports (which does not require a cable subscription login) or USA Now, which does require a login. In Canada, viewers will now see either CraveTV (if they are Bell subscribers) or Showmi (for Rogers or Shaw cable customers). Other countries have also received different new channels.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.7 ( -0.57 )
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe