Tag - Europe
Subscribers of T-Mobile will soon be able to roam around Europe without worrying about overusing their data, the carrier has announced. Part of its Summer Unleashed promotion, T-Mobile is providing its customers free unlimited high-speed data throughout the summer if they cross the Atlantic for their vacation, while customers of other carriers are also being given a small connectivity treat if they are on a domestic flight this weekend.
The probe by the European Commission into Apple's tax arrangements may come to an end soon, possibly next month, according to one official. Irish finance minister Michael Noonan believes the Commission could offer its ruling in July, one that will decide the legality of Apple's movements of funds through specific countries to avoid paying high amounts of tax, as well as other arrangements beneficial to the company provided by EU member states.
Governments should be more mindful of "sharing economy" services and must try to avoid banning them, according to draft guidelines created by the European Commission. European Union member states should be mindful of implementing restrictions on online services such as Airbnb and Uber, with the commission warning rules that work against these types of companies should be justifiable, and also proportionate to the public interest.
Apple Pay will be in more countries as soon as possible, the head of the mobile payments platform has advised. Speaking earlier this week, VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey claims the team is trying hard to get the service operational in more markets in Europe and Asia, following after its recent expansion in Singapore, with Bailey also providing hints at how Apple decides which markets to launch in, and how successful some of the launches were.
In one interview given to an Indian television network, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that the iPhone was "overpriced" in India, saying that he wanted consumers there to be be able to buy iPhones "at a price that looks like the US price." He also talked again about the desire to invest further in India, praising the talent the company wants to invest in. In the StartupFest interview that took place earlier today in Amsterdam, Cook shot down the idea of Apple creating its own "piggyback" carrier network for iPhone users.
European customers of video streaming services could end up paying a higher subscription, if a proposal from the European Commission is adopted. According to a draft of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, expected to be revealed next week, member states within the European Union could impose a "Netflix Tax" on services operating within the country, with funds received from the levy intended to help finance local TV show and movie productions.
The terrorist attack on Brussels has prompted more debate by lawmakers about government access of citizen data, on both sides of the Atlantic. European Union ministers are pushing for more sharing of data between security agencies across the continent, following the deaths of 31 people and injury to approximately 300 others earlier this week in the attack, while the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman urges Congress to move forward on an encryption bill.
Apple will remain "committed to Ireland," regardless of the outcome of its tax investigation by the European Union, the vice president of the company's European operations. Speaking to a panel of European Parliament lawmakers the day before Apple and other companies were scheduled to testify about their tax affairs, Apple's Cathy Kearney argues that the iPhone maker pays all due taxes in the country, and it does not receive any unfair advantage from local authorities for operating in the region.
A group of major companies are going to be questioned by the European Parliament's tax committee about their European tax arrangements on Wednesday. The group, which includes tech companies Apple and Google alongside McDonald's and Ikea, will be asked questions by the committee, in an attempt to find out more details about how the companies set up their tax payments and deals with countries, in order to avoid paying what is believed to be significant amounts of tax.
The European Union's competition chief has warned reporters "Don't hold your breath" for a quick ruling concerning Apple's Irish tax affairs. Speaking in Brussels, Margarethe Vestager was "warning" anyone expecting a result in the investigation anytime soon that they may have to wait for longer, as the European Commission continues its thorough examination into how major tech companies move funds around to minimize how much tax they pay.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R