24-month warranties to be provided after consumer watchdog investigation
Apple is being forced to comply with the Australian Consumer Law, in another legal argument over its warranties. An investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that Apple staff in the country misapplied Apple's policies for 14-day returns and 12-month limited manufacturer's warranty, instead of ones required under the ACL itself.
Demographic skews older, and with more buyers under median income
"Almost half" of the people who bought the iPhone 5c in September and October were people switching from Android phones, particularly ones by Samsung and LG, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. By comparison, some 80 percent of iPhone 5s purchases were by people upgrading from a previous iPhone. Kantar also notes that over 40 percent of 5c buyers were earning less than $49,000 per year, versus roughly 20 percent for the 5s. 5c buyers also tended to skew older, with an average age of 38 instead of the 5s' 34.
Nokia phablet with 20MP PureView camera out in UK, Australia soon
The Nokia Lumia 1520 has landed in Australia, following its launch in the United States and other countries. Not to be outdone, the six-inch phablet with a 1080p display will also be heading to the United Kingdom for launch on December 6th, with both carriers and third-party retailers said to be stocking the device.
Promo image points at possible iPad, accessory discounts
Apple has begun teasing its annual Black Friday sales event on its international websites. While the company's US website has yet to mention anything, the Australian site notes that the event will take place this Friday both online and at retail, and that online orders will have free shipping.
Local site prices Amazon US Kindle Fire HD under Australian retailers
Amazon has made a large push in Australia for its Kindle tablet line. The retailer has launched its Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets in the country, coming shortly after the Kindle Paperwhite became available in stores, and is accompanied by a regional version of the Kindle Store, with Kindle Direct Publishing also opening up in the territory.
Apple 'investigating the cause'
The iPad that exploded at an Australia Vodafone store was an older model, and not the iPad Air, according to Vodafone. "It was an earlier generation iPad with Retina display model - not one of the more recently launched devices. Apple is investigating the cause," one spokesperson states. Another comments that "Apple has taken the device for investigation, so we won't know any more until they do."
iPad charging port claimed to be source of fire in store
An Apple iPad reportedly exploded in a Vodafone store in Canberra, Australia earlier this week, causing the building to be evacuated. A demonstration model used by the carrier at the store apparently caught fire at the charging port, as well as ejecting smoke and sparks, though it is not entirely clear what generation of iPad was at fault.
Location expected to become new Brisbane flagship
Apple has started posting job listings for its third store in Brisbane, Australia, reports note. The outlet will be based in the MacArthur Chambers building, a 10-story structure dating back to 1934. Previously-submitted plans indicate that within its space, Apple is expected to make some architectural changes affecting windows, a stairway, and a wall in the mezzanine.
Lines start forming around some retail outlets
(Updated with start of sales in some countries) Apple has begun temporarily shuttering some of its online stores ahead of tomorrow's iPad Air launch. Pages for regions like Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the Netherlands are now offline. The storefronts should go back online sometime after midnight local time, when online orders for the Air will open.
LG G Pad 8.3 heading to retail in the UK and Ireland
LG is launching its G Pad 8.3 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, in time for the holiday shopping rush. The tablet, with an 8.3-inch 1080p display, a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, 5MP and 1.3MP cameras, 4,600mAh battery and 16GB of storage, will cost £260 ($415) when it goes on sale.
US, Canada, China, Australia see new forecasts
Shipping times for the iPhone 5s have changed at Apple's online store, checks show. As recently as yesterday, the device was only listed as shipping in "October" for US buyers. Now orders are set to arrive in two to three weeks; the same forecast has been applied to the Canadian, Chinese, and Australian storefronts, and possibly others.
English-speaking and Nordic countries in initial rollout plans
Apple is expected to make English-speaking and Nordic countries the first wave of its expansion of iTunes Radio into non-US countries, pulling ahead of main rival Pandora in terms of international reach, Bloomberg reports. Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," Apple expects to bring the new streaming-radio feature of iTunes to Canada, the UK, several Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand in a timeframe said to be aimed for early 2014.
Despite high pricing, online orders selling out rapidly
Though the prices on the contract-free iPhone 5c and 5s will appear eye-poppingly high to Americans, the just-opened sales of the new iPhones at retail in the Far East are generating long lines for very limited stock -- a fact reflected at Apple's online stores, where the iPhone 5s in any configuration requires at least seven business days before delivery in most regions now.
Carriers receiving only 'Space Gray' model; gold buyers pointed to Apple
Sales of the iPhone have begun in eastern Australia, with customers lining up to be among the first in the world to buy one of the new iPhone models at retail. As expected, interest is high in the new iPhone 5s -- however, our reporter in line in Penrith (a city not far from Sydney) reports that while stores have "plenty" of the silver and "Space Gray" models on hand, the prized "gold" model is in short supply, with the Penrith Apple Store having 50 or fewer units on hand, while well over 200 potential customers lined up prior to opening.
Few launch units available worldwide
Although the phone has only just launched in the eastern hemisphere, the iPhone 5s is proving to be in extremely short supply, reports suggest. Online orders of the device have opened up in Australia and mainland China, but Apple is already listing the product as shipping in 7 to 10 business days in those regions, regardless of color or capacity. In Hong Kong and Singapore, the 5s is simply quoted as shipping in "October."
New countries to join August 16th
Apple is extending the number of eligible countries in its USB adapter takeback program. The program began in China August 9th, and is coming to the US on August 16th. Now also joining on the 16th will be Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK.
Woman didn't check boxes before returning home
A 21-year-old woman from Brisbane, Australia was scammed into buying a pair of apples in place of the iPhones she was expecting, regional police say. The person recently placed an ad on classifieds site Gumtree, saying she was interested in buying a few iPhones. She was then contacted by another woman, who said she had a pair of iPhones to sell.
First Apple Store in South Australia
Apple is preparing to open a new Apple Store in Adelaide, Australia on May 25 at 10AM. The Rundle Place outlet will not only be Apple's first in Adelaide, but also by extension the first in the state of South Australia, which is otherwise sparsely populated. The company has 19 other stores in the country, most of which are in New South Wales or Victoria.
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.