Galaxy S4 shipments in Australia experience surprise delays
Samsung’s Australian Galaxy S4 launch has been hit by shipping delays. The Korean tech giant put on a glitzy launch in Sydney on Wednesday, even lighting up the Opera House to celebrate the occasion. Although the launch event was held just a few days before its promised arrival in stores on April 27, the company made no indication that customers may have to endure any shipment issues.
Melbourne opening this weekend, Adelaide on the way
Apple is opening a new store in Melbourne, Australia this weekend at the Highpoint Shopping Centre. The new store, the second in Melbourne, will open at 10 AM local time on Saturday, April 27. The company is also, say sources, close to opening a store in Adelaide in South Australia, the first for that city and the state. Job listings for the Adelaide store gave away its presence, along with a signature black curtain covering part of the frontage of Rundle Place. Apple has opened seven other stores in Australia in just the past two years.
Fallout from cancelled Apple Store
A Queensland state court recently ordered Apple to continue to pay for its share of construction in the historic MacArthur Chambers building in Brisbane, Australia, say ifoAppleStore sources. Apple was at one point working on a store in the location, but cancelled it without explanation. The construction work is needed so that the space is in fit condition to be leased out to another tenant.
Vodafone Australia to roll out 4G coverage in June
Vodafone is to launch its 4G services to Australian customers in June. The initial rollout will see Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle, and the Gold Coast covered with 4G service, according to ZDNet. Tests on the 4G signal shows it as having a download speed of 80Mbps and an upload of 20Mbps, with a claimed maximum of 150Mbps possible for some customers. Like its competitors, national carriers Telstra and Optus, Vodafone will be keeping its 4G service charges the same as its 3G access, and hopes to have 1,000 4G sites operational by the end of 2013.
Some Apple workers allegedly told not to talk about new rights
Apple has extended the default warranty on its products in Australia from one year to two years, but retail staff are being told not to advertise that fact, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. In January 2011 a new Australian Consumer Law came into force, mandating that many products come with a warranty of "reasonable" length, even if a manufacturer's stated warranty has expired. What constitutes a reasonable length has been left flexible, but the country's Competition and Consumer Commission recommends that for a product like an expensive TV, the period can be up to two years.
Marks a first in Australian legal history
The Australian Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit has switched to a two-judge system as of Monday, says the Australian Financial Review. The situation is said to represent the first time the Federal Court of Australia has had two judges handling an initial case, but necessary because of the sheer number of patents consolidated into the lawsuit. Apple alone is reportedly asserting 19 properties on 120 infringement claims, directed against nine Samsung phones and two tablets. Samsung is asserting seven wireless patents as counterclaims.
Country has particular issues with labels in Apple Maps
In addition to a rash of hiring positions the company has recently posted for work on further improving its Maps app, Apple has posted a new job for a "Maps Ground Truth Data Specialist" for Australia. The country has had to deal with sometimes-dangerous levels of incorrect information from both Apple Maps and Google Maps, resulting in police warnings to motorists and others not to rely exclusively on the mapping data provided by the apps. The new position would send people out to verify and correct satellite imagery.
UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days
The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.
Dodges questions over $1,400 price disparity
The CEO of Adobe, Shantanu Narayen, has refused to answer questions concerning the company's product pricing in Australia. The press conference, ahead of a governmental pricing inquiry saw Narayen avoid explaining why Australians are forced to pay as much as $1,400 more than customers in the US for its Creative Suite.
Apple, Microsoft, Adobe receive summons to appear before inquiry
Apple and Microsoft have been forced to front a pricing inquiry in Australia to explain why many of their products are priced up to 50 percent higher than in the US. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has issued a summons to the two tech giants, along with Adobe. If the companies fail to comply with the inquiry, they could face legal ramifications.
New BlackBerry 10 platformed deemed insufficient for department
Adding to the ongoing litany of BlackBerry woes, the Australian Department of Treasury is shifting its mobile technology off the platform in favor of the iPhone 5, according to chief information officer Peter Alexander. Control and monitoring of the 250 devices in the fleet will be managed by the AirWatch mobile device management system, and the rollout will be complete by the end of March.
Google not responsible for content of hosted advertisements
A landmark ruling in Australia's High Court has found that Google is not responsible for messages or content provided by paid advertisers served by the search engine. The finding ends a six-year legal fight between Google and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which accused Google of engaging in misleading and deceptive behavior regarding the content of paid advertisements.
Grants small discounts toward Macs and iPads
Apple has begun the Australian and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School promotion. In Australia, students, school staff, and parents of students can get a $100 AU gift card with the purchase of a Mac, or a $50 AU card with an iPad with a Retina display. The New Zealand promotion is similar, simply adjusting the cards to $125 NZ and $65 NZ, respectively. The cards can only be used towards apps, books, movies, and music on iTunes.
iPads used as lynchpin of new classroom integration technique development
Joining several other Australian schools, the University of Western Sydney will distribute 11,000 iPads to all faculty and entering Freshman class. The iPads will be used to renovate the curriculum, unify it across six campuses, and give the students better study opportunities and a "blended learning model."
Problem with Australian road detail not limited to Apple Maps
A second area in Australia is having difficulties with Internet map services, this time courtesy of Google Maps. Police in Colac, west of Melbourne, say problems with Google Maps are endangering motorists along the Great Ocean Road and in the southern Otways. Sergeant Nick Buenen says trucks, buses, and tourist vehicles are being directed down Wild Dog Road, which is a one-way dirt road, not built for heavy traffic. Local department of public works VicRoads has denied responsibility, and Google has not commented on the matter, nor fixed the issue.
New Jersey outlet moves to much larger space
Apple is set to open four new retail stores this Saturday, ifoAppleStore remarks. Two of these are in China, including the MixC outlet in Chengdu, and the Causeway Bay location in Hong Kong. Australia is getting a store in Fountain Gate in Narre Warren (outside Melbourne), while Sweden's second-ever store will be based in the Emporia in Malmö.
Map mistake forces government rescue operations
(Updated with news of Apple fix) Police in Victoria, Australia have issued a bulletin warning people about an error in iOS 6 Maps which is leaving people stranded. The bulletin notes that during the past few weeks, rescue operations have been needed for a number of people using iOS 6 to drive to the city of Mildura. The firmware is instead leading people into a part of Murray-Sunset National Park over 40 miles away.
US still stuck at two weeks
iPhone 5 shipping times at Apple's online store have been reduced down to one week in some countries. So far Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore are known to have improved times, and other countries may as well. US and Canadian shipping times, though, are still listed at two weeks, a reversal of the normal situation.
Global sale should see modest discounts
[Update: US site updated with sale info] Apple has posted a teaser on its Australian and now US and other websites for its annual Black Friday sale. "The one-day Apple shopping event is Friday, 23 November," the ad reads. "Get ready to give. Shop online or visit your favourite Apple Retail Store. We'll help you make the most of the day, no matter how you shop."
Sliver of Apple's local revenue
The Australian government is asking the local division of Apple to pay $28.5 million in back taxes, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The change raises Apple's Australian bill for the 2011 fiscal year to $94.7 million. That, however, represents just a fraction of the $4.9 billion in revenue the company pulled in from the country.
Parents of private school students must bear expense
A church-based private school, along with several other private educational institutions in Sydney, Australia are now informing parents that most students will be required to own an iPad beginning in the next school year. The move to tablets has become compulsory at the schools because educators believe they are significantly more effective as learning tools than notebook, and eliminates the need for students to lug around heavy textbooks. While not all schools are mandating iPads specifically, traditional printed materials and even laptops are clearly on the way out.
Fate of new iPod nano still unknown
[Updated with news of Nano shipments] Apple is beginning to ship the first online orders of the fifth-generation iPod touch, reports say. In general, shipments appear set to be delivered on or around October 15, in the US and some other countries as well, including Australia. The player may in fact already be available in some Apple retail outlets.
Tech said to be expressly related to NFC payments
Apple has signed a deal with an Australian company, MicroLatch, to work on fingerprint recognition technology, The Australian reports. The information comes by way of David Murray, formerly the head of the Commonwealth Bank and now a major MicroLatch investor. He claims that the help Apple wants is explicitly related to mobile payments using NFC (near-field communications). MicroLatch has patented fingerprint technology said to meet banking security standards without the need for central processing, something Murray calls a "self-registering" system.
Brother and sister become first retail buyers, wait 68 hours in line
The first retail-store buyers of an iPhone 5 on Earth were a pair of siblings and a member of the staff of a mobile phone enthusiast site in Sydney, Australia, which by virtue of its proximity to the International Date Line became the first of the nine countries allowed to sell the new iPhone on Friday morning, local time. Some people, including paid line-standers and those advertising for various companies or causes, stood in line as long as 68 hours when queues started forming on Tuesday for the hit smartphone.
Ottawa store becomes city's second
Apple is opening three new retail stores this weekend. Among these is a second for Canada's capital, Ottawa. The Bayshore Shopping Centre outlet will open at 9AM on Saturday, unusually early for Apple outside of product launches. The shop should give the company better access to Ottawa's affluent west end.
Move will see 5000 iPads put into Boeing 767 fleet
Qantas will be giving customers iPads to use for in-flight entertainment, following successful tests late last year. The Apple tablets will be rolled out to the entire Qantas 767 fleet, from the fourth quarter of this year onwards, starting with flights based on Australia's east-coast routes. Adding iPads to all 23 Boeing 767-300 craft would require at least 5,000 units, excluding spare tablets for repairs.
Separate from iTunes Match growth
(Updated with additional countries) Movie support has been added to iTunes in the Cloud in three more regions. The UK, Canada, and Columbia now have access to the feature, which ensures that movies bought on one device are automatically available for download elsewhere. Previously the countries could only use the option for music, apps, books, and music videos.
Times improving worldwide
Shipping estimates for Retina MacBook Pros are beginning to improve, checks show. At the US online store, delays are now down to 2 to 3 weeks, having ballooned to 3 to 4 weeks about a day after the computer's June 11th debut. The shortened 2-3 week window is also being reported in Australia, the Americas, and at least some European countries.
Only handful of countries currently using app tech
Apple is rolling out EasyPay to its Australian retail stores beginning on Thursday, notes ifoAppleStore. The checkout service is integrated into the official Apple Store app for the iPhone, and lets people scan and pay for some products without even talking to a clerk. Although potentially increasing the risk of shoplifting, the service may nevertheless be worth it to Apple to speed up simple purchases so more complicated ones get extra attention.
New York, Tennessee, Australia locations announced
Apple is opening three new retail stores this Saturday, June 30th. The first is the Ridge Hill location in Yonkers, New York. The outlet is just outside of New York City, and will be Apple's 17th in the state; a disproportionate number of those are clustered in and around the New York City area.
Google Australia, Lego collaborate on Build Chrome app
Google Australia and Lego have created Build, a WebGL-based Lego construction app. Users can claim a plot of land on a map of Australia and New Zealand, and can build an object on a 32x32 starting base. Using 12 shapes in 10 different colors, builds can be saved and viewed by others on the Build with Chrome website. In a blog post, Google Australia voices hope that Build will expand to more regions in the future.
Allegedly issued 'improper' Apple patents for iPad, iPod
On Friday, information surfaced that Samsung has added the Australian patent commissioner to a complaint alleging that the official didn't follow protocol when issuing Apple some patents. As a result, Samsung is attempting to invalidate the patents before the Australian court battle begins between the two giants. The hearing to invalidate the patents allegedly granted beyond the powers of the patent commissioner is scheduled for June 25. The overall patent battle will begin some time later this summer.
New Zealand and Australia gain Spotify and chart apps
Spotify has expanded its music service to reach customers in Australia and New Zealand. As of today, both Southern Hemisphere countries will be able to use the streaming service, and will have country-specific apps offering curated music playlists. The launch takes place three months after Spotify first arrived in Germany.
Funds used no longer available, not refundable to consumers
[Update: Blizzard is allowing the customers who paid money to GAME to apply it to a digital copy of Diablo III] On the eve of the highly-anticipated action role-playing game Diablo III's release, Australian retailer GAME has gone bankrupt, and an administrator has been named. Some customers that reserved the title through the chain will not only be denied the title, but any funds that have been applied to a preorder have been lost and will not be returned according to the company.
Cause of smoking iPhone on flight revealed in investigation
An iPhone that started smoking on a flight to Sydney last November has been explained. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau conducted the investigation and found that a misplaced screw within the handset had punctured the battery casing. The resulting short circuit caused the battery to overheat and start smoking. According to the ATSB, the screw was misplaced by an unauthorized service center during a screen replacement. Although no one was hurt during the flight from the faulty handset, the chief comissioner of the ATSB, Martin Dolan, warned passengers to carry electronic devices in the cabin and to not store them with checked-in baggage.
Australian government on digital pricing inquiry
Technology companies, including Microsoft and Apple, are being asked by the Australian government to explain why prices of downloadable content in that country are higher than in the US. The parliamentary inquiry is hoped by some parties to lower the prices of digital goods in the region, as regulators have deemed the existing explanations to be insufficient.
Hiring already underway
More details have been narrowed down regarding Apple's upcoming second Apple Store in Perth, Australia. PerthNow reports that the company is already starting to hire for a "South Perth" location. Sources for the site add that the store will specifically located in Booragoon's Garden City, and take over at least two earlier stores near a Kmart.
Claims 3G networks technically fit 4G definition
Apple has filed a defense with Australia's Federal Court, contesting an argument by the country's Competition and Consumer Commission that the third-gen iPad shouldn't be marketed as 4G in the country. While the tablet does support LTE 4G, it is currently only compatible with LTE networks in Canada and the US. Apple suggests that 3G networks run by Australian carriers Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are "4G networks in accordance with accepted industry and regulatory use of the descriptor '4G.'
Apple iPad not '4G' says ACCC, consumer watchdog
Apple has been accused of misleading advertising by Australia’s consumer watchdog the ACCC over its promotion of the new iPad as having 4G capabilities, as no Australian telco currently supports the 4G radio in the new iPad. The ACCC plans to lodge an urgent case before a Melbourne court tomorrow over the issue. It aims to seek ‘injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected.’
Three more German locations planned
Plans for several new international Apple Store have been discovered, notes ifoAppleStore. In Germany Apple has posted jobs for two new outlets, located in Stuttgart and Cologne. A third store, in Hanover, is said to be under construction at Bahnhofstraße 5; iFun.de remarks that windows have been blacked out for construction.
Apple working around construction problems?
The western Australian city of Perth will get a second Apple Store later this year, sources for ifoAppleStore say. In particular, Apple is said to be planning a shop in the suburb of South Perth, only a short distance from the current Perth City outlet downtown. Because there are no large malls in South Perth, it's thought that Apple will build another street-level location.
In US, new Seattle store under consideration
Two or more planned Apple Stores in Australia could be in trouble following problems with a contractor, notes ifoAppleStore. Kell & Rigby is believed to be the structural contractor for all of Apple's Australian retail chain, but has been hunting for companies to buy parts of its business in order to avoid bankruptcy. Talks with several potential rescuers in the past two weeks have reportedly fallen through, leading the company to issue a "stand down" letter to workers, halting construction efforts.
Adelaide may get next Australian outlet
Some of Apple's 2012 retail plans should involve New York and Florida in the US, and the city of Adelaide in Australia, according to ifoAppleStore sources. The Carousel Center mini-store in Syracuse, New York is expected to move into a larger space later this year, possibly to one currently under construction near a Clark's in the same mall. The current location is rare in not only being a mini-store, but having its partner full-sized store situated 95 miles away, in Albany. The new Carousel Center shop could be ready by mid-year.
Announcement for New Zealand customers
Acer's New Zealand division has confirmed that the Iconia Tab A500 will not receive an Android 4.0 upgrade until sometime in April. The announcement was directed at users in Australia and New Zealand, rather than the company's global customers, leaving the release timing unclear for other regions.
Could be linked to hard drive shortages
Apple's Time Capsule routers are seeing delays or shortages in different parts of the world, notes 9to5Mac. The company's online stores in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and France are sometimes seeing delivery times of one to three weeks for 3TB models, or one- to two-week delays for 2TB routers. Third-party vendors Amazon and Best Buy are out of 3TB models, and some Australian Apple Stores may be completely out of stock.
Sydney outlet city's third
Construction efforts are due or underway on two Apple retail expansions, according to ifoAppleStore. The first is a previously rumored new location in Sydney, Australia, on the third floor of the Broadway Shopping Centre. A black facade (pictured above and below) is now covering units 303 to 307, indicating that the finished shop will measure nearly 6,000 square feet.
Canada only country participating so far
Apple is engaging in a rare Boxing Week sale on the iTunes Store. Boxing Day takes place on December 26th in Australia, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. The Boxing Week promotion is already active, however, if only in Canada.
More expansions may be imminent
Following a botched rollout on Wednesday, Apple has today officially expanded iTunes Match to Canada and the UK. In Canada the service costs $28 a year, while in the UK annual pricing is set at £22. Unlike regular iCloud options, iTunes Match allows a person to mirror and remotely access their entire music library, regardless of whether the content is on iTunes.
European countries also seeing the option
Apple appears to be quietly rolling out iTunes Match to a number of countries this evening, judging from reports of users who now see the option to sign up available under their iTunes account information pages. Pricing for the service has been revealed to be $28 in Canada, £22 (approximately $34) in Great Britain, and €25 (approximately $32.50) in Europe and equivalently-priced elsewhere.
Full list of countries may be unknown
The changes to Apple TV content made in Canada are also in effect in Australia in the UK, reports note. Residents of the two regions can now access TV shows through iCloud, rather than having to stream them from a computer running iTunes, or an iOS handheld. Pricing for episodes should remain unchanged.