Tag - China
Apple is "disappointed" in a recent Beijing Higher People's Court ruling that allowed Xintong Tiandi Technology to use an all-caps "IPHONE" trademark on a line of leather goods, and will appeal the cas to the country's highest court. While the court's ruling only concerned the trademark with regards to "imitation leather, leather, wallets, purses, leather thread, leather passport wallets, leather key cases, leather straps and leather trimmings for furniture," the ruling has effectively weakened Apple's trademark on the term "iPhone" for any other use.
A pair of new reports illustrate the complexity of guessing Apple's relative health going forward: while forecasters at Stern Agee CRT believe that the entire Chinese smartphone market will continue to sag to an overall 15 percent drop across 2016, demand for the four-inch iPhone SE -- which is also said to be flourishing in China -- has allegedly caused Apple to increase orders of the budget-priced device. The drop in demand for smartphones generally in China will have an impact on all manufacturers, not just Apple.
The shutdown of the iTunes Movies and iBooks stores in China last week were forced by a regulator within the local government, according to a report. It is claimed the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television is behind the closures, with the government's interest in more tightly controlling media from foreign sources appearing to be one of the main reasons why the stores were taken down.
While there have been various unconfirmed claims that the iPhone SE -- Apple's latest iPhone model that sports a return to the four-inch display screen -- has not done as well as expected in North America, the new smartphone appears to be a hit in China, according to a report from DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade site with a mixed track record of accuracy. The report says that iPhone SE sales have helped Apple cut into the market shares of local rivals, such as China-based Xiaomi and Huawei, and that the other makers are reducing inventories in fear of over-confident projections.
During today's congressional hearing before the House of Representatives' Energy & Commerce committee, one of the few bits of new information uncovered in the otherwise-helpful discussion between members of the committee and various members of both the law-enforcement community and a bank of various security experts (including Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell) was a flat denial from Apple that it had ever complied with requests for data from Chinese authorities.
The newly-released iPhone SE, a four-inch iPhone model with most of the same functionality as the iPhone 6s, looks to be doing the job it was designed to do in winning more share in developing markets -- if reports from local retailers in China are true. CNBC reported on Monday that pre-orders for the unit have exceeded 3.4 million units during its opening weekend. The iPhone SE is currently in pre-order in 13 countries and territories, and will expand to another 47 more in the near future.
A new video from the same company that hosted a report last month about unauthorized iPhone upgrading in a China market in Shenzhen has returned to the location to discover an "iPhone SE" -- the rumored four-inch iPhone model Apple is thought to be announcing at its event on March 21 -- being sold in the market, though it is highly likely to be a counterfeit device based on rumored specifications than a genuine iPhone. In the pictures and video supplied by Beeep, the device looks similar to a rose gold but smaller iPhone 6.
The rate of growth of iOS usage in China seemingly slowed at the start of the year, according to an analyst group, though it is suggested this may be more from consumer shopping habits than device popularity. KantarWorldPanel claims growth in a three-month period ending in January of this year reduced down to a rate slower than observed in the market during late 2014, though it still remains the most popular brand in China, holding on to a 25 percent share of total smartphone sales in the region during the quarter.
Apple Pay's launch in China is a success, after figures released by the China Merchants Bank confirmed the payments service enjoyed extremely high usage within the first few days of availability in the country. For the first two days after launch, the bank claims its customers connected 1 million bank cards to Apple Pay, which is said to represent approximately 35 percent of all cards used with the service, with the rest made up of cards from the other 18 Chinese banks supporting Apple Pay at launch.
According to a new report from a Chinese site, Apple's negotiations with Chinese banking authorities to launch Apple Pay in the country involved the company agreeing to take a significantly lower cut from the fees banks charge merchants for credit processing -- but in exchange for this concession, the iPhone maker got the right to suspend the discount for banks that didn't sign up to support Apple Pay on launch. In addition, Apple agreed to a two-year delay in collecting the fees, which amount for 0.07 percent of each transaction, rather than 0.15 percent as Apple charges in the US and other countries.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE