Tag - Australia
Smartwatch producer Pebble is bringing a function that allows the wearable device to respond to text messages received on an iPhone to more users, both within the United States and outside. Initially launched in a trial on AT&T in November last year before spreading to Verizon, the iOS Text Reply function is going to be available to subscribers of T-Mobile in the United States along with Pebble owners based in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands.
Apple has raised A$1.425 billion (just over $1 billion in US dollars) through the sale of Australian bonds on Friday. This was the second such bond sale Apple has held in Australia, with a sale from last summer raising about $1.642 billion -- and setting a record for a non-financial sector bond sale in that country. Apple has taken to using bond sales as a way to raise money for its US-based investments and payouts, such as share buybacks and investor dividends, rather than "repatriating" some of its staggering $200 billion in foreign cash reserves.
Apple is preparing to issue bonds in the Asia Pacific region, in order to raise funds for a number of shareholder-related actions, according to a report. It is claimed Apple will be selling bonds in Taiwan and Australia so it can raise between $3 billion and $4 billion in debt, which it can then use to fund dividend payments and share buybacks, all without touching any of its large cash reserves it mostly holds outside of the United States.
Negotiations between Apple and some Australian banks over Apple Pay have recommenced, prompted by the first bank to enable the payment platform's apparent success. ANZ Banking Group started offering payments via Apple Pay from late last month, but the customer response and a sudden surge in applications for bank accounts and credit cards has apparently forced competing financial institutions to reconsider whether or not to accept Apple Pay transactions.
Streaming services are helping drive music revenues in Australia, echoing similar industry changes in other regions, a recent report has claimed. Services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, is being credited by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for helping push music revenues for the country to $333.8 million, a 5 percent year-on-year increase, and the first upwards trend in the annual wholesale figure for the region's music industry since 2012.
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look back at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Sony is said to be thinking about making PlayStation VR work with PCs, Konami and Tencent tease Contra Mobile, and Valve's Steam store faces two issues stemming from a vulnerability and an Australian court's ruling over refunds.
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."