Mold, ventilation among obstacles
Apple's planned store in Hannover, Germany may finally open its doors in late September, say sources claimed to be connected to the company's local retail team. The shop has been under development for some time, with black construction facades first going up in April 2013. The delay is said to be linked to fixing up problems in the building, including mold, bad ventilation, and general defects.
Claims same legal protections already obtained in US
The European Court of Justice has issued a decision granting Apple an EU trademark on the layout of its retail stores. The ruling (PDF) states that "the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services," giving the trademark scope enough to cover all of Apple's locations.
Builder likely testing materials to be used on final development
A life-size "slice" of the planned exterior of Apple's under-construction Campus 2 has popped up in Gundelfingen, Germany, reports German enthusiast site iFun.de. Pictured posted on the site show two stories of the expected four- or five-story (above ground) structure, which will be built as a massive ring-like office building with a large natural area in the center. The segment was likely created to test the materials chosen for the building's exterior.
Argos, eBay Click and Collect delivery partnership expanded to 650 UK stores
Auction site eBay has expanded last year's trial of its Click & Collect delivery scheme partnership with Argos across the United Kingdom. The scheme, which initially allowed customers to buy from 50 eBay sellers and pick up orders from 150 London-centric Argos stores, is expected to cover 650 stores around the country by the end of the year, with over 65,000 eBay sellers expected to offer the delivery option.
NSA snooping of officials turns German government away from American company
Verizon is going to be out a high profile government client, thanks to the spying actions of the United States. Today, Germany indicated that it would not be renewing its contract with the wireless carrier based on concerns that Verizon had potentially abetted spying from the National Security Agency (NSA). Germany's contract with Verizon is set to expire in 2015.
European operations consolidated in Frankfurt, redundancy causes layoffs
After three consecutive years of losses, Nintendo is being forced into the position of closing down one of its offices. The gaming company will close down its office in Großostheim, Germany to consolidate its European operations to Frankfurt. In the process, Nintendo will eliminate 130 permanent positions in the company as the two offices consolidate.
Date most likely informed guess
Support workers for German carrier Deutsche Telekom are attempting to get some people to stay with the claim that the next-generation iPhone will ship on September 19, local reports say. Apple hasn't revealed the phone yet, and it's doubtful that the company would be giving carriers an exact date at this stage. It is a possibility however, and if nothing else the date is consistent with the launches of the iPhone 5s and 5c -- which took place on September 20 last year -- and the iPhone 5, which shipped on September 21, 2012. The 19th may, therefore, just be an educated guess on Telekom's part.
Current-generation iPads still excluded
Apple has expanded its iPad Reuse & Recycling program to France and Germany, local reports say. When the initiative first launched on Earth Day -- April 22nd -- it was restricted to Canada and the US. Given Apple's history with the iPhone version of the program, the UK is likely next in expansion efforts.
US, other regions still at 2-3 weeks
Apple's official shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro have shrunk to one to two weeks in several European nations including the UK, France, Spain, and Germany, checks show. Other online storefronts -- including the US -- are still showing times in the two- to three-week range. If historical trends persist, times in the US should improve in short order.
May be first hint of iPhone 6 launch window
German Apple Store workers are being blocked from taking vacation days in September, according a source for local website iFun. The reason for the restriction hasn't been made public, but since September/October is typically when Apple releases new iPhones, that's believed to be reason why. It is however unusually early for a such a window to be imposed; normally Apple and other vendors will only institute blocks a few weeks in advance of a product launch.
Changes make iTunes video content more useful
Apple has made two important improvements to its German video offerings, reports say. The most important is iTunes in the Cloud support for movies and TV shows; this means that content bought or rented on one device can be downloaded elsewhere, or again, at no extra cost, as long as it's tied to the same Apple ID. By extension, the second change is that TV shows hosted on iTunes can now be viewed on an Apple TV.
Initiative continues slow international expansion
Apple's iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program is now in effect in German Apple Stores. As elsewhere, the plan lets people get credit towards a new iPhone by trading in eligible older models. In Germany, Apple is offering up to €230 in credit, depending on the model and its condition.
Shops could fill in key gaps
New photos may suggest that Apple's upcoming store in Hannover, Germany is almost finished. The outlet has been under development since April 2013, and construction facades are still in place on the inside of the building. An Apple logo is now on display outside the shop though, and is being lit up at night, although it's still covered. It's believed that the location could open as soon as next month.
Could be attempt to revive device's sales
(Updated with photo of packaging label, iPad 4 rumor) Apple is preparing an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c and may ship it as soon as March 18, according to an alleged internal email from the German branch of O2. The message says that O2 will sell the phone tomorrow contract-free for €509 ($707), as compared to the €569 ($791) a 16GB model costs. It's unclear how that might affect the iPhone 4S, which is already at 8GB and currently serves as most carriers' "cheap" iPhone, often heavily discounted, or free on contract.
European 2G, 3G, 4G patents from Ericsson used by Unwired Planet in lawsuit
Huawei, Google, HTC, and Samsung have become the targets for two patent infringement lawsuits, filed simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Germany. Unwired Planet, the owner of 2,400 wireless patents it acquired from Ericsson last year, claims a total of six patents have been infringed by the technology company group. Although Unwired Planet has not estimated the possible value of the UK action, the company is seeking at least 30 million euro ($42 million) from the German case.
High-speed network technology research announced by UK Prime Minister
United Kingdom will work with Germany to create the next generation of wireless communications technology, revealed UK Prime Minister David Cameron at CeBit in Germany. The two countries will collaborate together on the 5G connections, which Cameron hopes could cut the time it takes to download an 800MB file down from 4G's 40-second transfer time to just one second.
One Apple suit valued at almost $2.2 billion
Germany's Mannheim Regional Court has dismissed two lawsuits against Apple and one against HTC, all of which were brought by IP holding firm IPCom, reports say. The cases revolved around a set of standards-essential 3G patents IPCom bought from Bosch after the latter exited the carphone industry. One of the suits, had it been successful, would have have demanded almost $2.2 billion in damages from Apple.
Steep price increase comes with renamed Lovefilm service
Amazon is readying a price hike for its Prime service in Germany before the end of the month. On February 26, users will see a rate increase that comes after the company renamed its streaming video service Lovefilm to Amazon Prime Instant Video in order to pair it with existing Prime subscriptions.
Issues blocks on still more domains
Apple has acquired the rights to several more domain names, made available through ICANN's continuing rollout of new generic top-level domains. The company now owns four .technology addresses: apple.technology, ipad.technology, iphone.technology, and mac.technology. It has also secured blocks against registering some domains, including apple.construction and macbook.technology.
Supporting regions still under a dozen
Apple has brought its two-step verification process to several more countries, the company's support pages show. Until today, only the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand were supported. Now however the list also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
Plaintiff so far winning rulings against Nokia, HTC
On February 11th, Apple will go to trial at Mannheim Regional Court to defend itself against a patent infringement suit brought by German patent firm IPCom, reports say. The latter company accuses Apple of violating a standards-essential wireless patent upheld by the European Patent Office last month; another, separate patent is also at stake. IPCom is asking for €1.57 billion ($2.12 billion) in damages, plus pre-judgment interest.
4.5-inch display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor in Ascend Y530
Huawei has launched a brightly-colored addition to its smartphone range in Europe, with the two-tone casing and physical design said by Huawei to be aimed at a younger audience. The Ascend Y530 is an entry-level Android smartphone with a 4.5-inch, 480x854-resolution display, with the restrained internal specifications matching its low launch price tag.
Daring raid fraught with risk, removed loot from back at 50MPH or more
An unusual tale of a daring robbery of Apple equipment sounds like it came directly from an action thriller like the spy spoof Danger Diabolik. Thieves in Germany, copying similar thefts by a Romanian gang, apparently followed a moving truck full of Apple devices, broke open the lock on the rear of the truck and made off with about $95,000 (€70,000) worth of iPads, iPhones and other items -- all while travelling at around 50 miles per hour.
European Moto X launches 6 months after United States version
Motorola has launched the Moto X in Europe, at its launch event in London today. The flagship Motorola smartphone, originally launched in the United States in August, makes its way across the Atlantic to join the Moto G, though unlike the American version, the European model will not offer any Moto Maker customization options, instead offering just the standard black and white-backed models.
Testing of hands-free Beacon system expands
Transaction service PayPal has started testing a new web feature called In-Context Checkout, reports say. Normally, web-based PayPal transactions have to be completed at paypal.com. With the in-context code in place, choosing PayPal checkout at a retailer's website will simply conjure a pop-up, where billing and shipping information can be entered. At the moment only a handful of retailers have the option, but PayPal is promising that more vendors will adopt it in the first half of 2014.
City hit with several car-based robberies in recent times
Apple's Kurfürstendamm store in Berlin was rammed with a car earlier today during a smash-and-grab robbery, says German newspaper Bild. Around 4:15 in the morning, the thieves crashed an Opel Corsa through the doors, and proceeded to take a number of iPhones, iPads, and Macs before fleeing in a pair of Audis. So far there is no word on the progress of the police investigation.
Epson adds printer support for Kindle Fire HD and HDX
Epson has announced its printing support for Kindle Fire Printing this week, offering an integrated wireless print function for Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX tablets. By adding the Kindle Fire tablets to its mobile printing capabilities, a wide range of Epson Connect-enabled printers can now print with tablets that run Amazon Fire OS 3.1.
Apps were previously English-only
Google has updated its Android and iOS Search apps with voice support for French, German, and Japanese. The upgrades let people both speak commands and hear responses in the new languages. Previously, non-English speakers had to type in any search requests.
Company already accepting pre-orders
A German retailer, Conrad Electronic, has begun taking pre-orders for the 2013 Mac Pro with an alleged December 16 release date. Quad- and six-core models are listed, priced at €2,999 and €3,999. The date is the first specific target from a retailer, although Apple has yet to announce a window beyond "December."
Most countries participating
Most of Apple's online storefronts for Europe have announced zero-percent financing deals, available today through January 10th. Some participating countries include the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The deals are only eligible on hardware purchases worth over €400, or £449, but let shoppers spread costs over time without incurring the interest Apple normally charges. Depending on the country, payments can be spread over 10 or 12 months.
Case against Apple suspended while validity of Samsung patent decided
Just hours after a US jury restored more than half of the set-aside portion of damages from the first Apple vs Samsung trial, a separate case in Germany has been suspended because the court believes that the patent Samsung is attempting to sue Apple over is invalid. The matter will be put on hold until the Federal Patent Court of Germany can determine it. Even if the patent is eventually found valid, Apple will face no injunction over its use, since it is a standards-essential patent (SEP).
Plan to cap speeds on fixed broadband connections stopped by German court
A court in Germany has ruled that Deutsche Telekom cannot throttle its home broadband service to a lower speed when a customer exceeds data allocations on a flat-rate package. Plans due to come into force in 2016 that would force customers down to a significantly slower connection than one they had originally paid for once they reach a data limit can no longer take place.
iPhone 5c seeing most traction in US, data suggests
The iPhone 5s represents about 3.8 percent of active iPhones worldwide, according to new tracking data from Localytics. The iPhone 5c holds a share of just 1.7 percent; the most popular model at the moment remains the iPhone 5, sitting at 39.8 percent. The 4S is at 32.9 percent, while the three-year-old iPhone 4 is at 20.2.
Computer could fetch as much as $500,000 or more
A working Apple I will go up for sale by Germany's Breker auction house on November 16th, according to an announcement. Making the item even rarer is that it includes the white box the system originally shipped with, and that it's listed as 46th out of the first 50 units hand-assembled by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Ultimately a total of just 200 Apple Is would be built, most of which are non-functional due to wear and their use of obsolete parts.
Ban had stymied German users even after patent found likely invalid
As of 9PM local time in Germany, users in that country are finally -- after 19 months -- able to activate push email services from iCloud. The previous block was due to a patent dispute with Google-owned Motorola Mobility over a patent on a push-type messaging originally granted for beepers, and which has in the intervening months been found invalid for four separate reasons by a court in the UK, and later on in three different courts in Germany.
Content already available elsewhere
Apple has quietly updated Germany Apple TVs with access to the official NHL and Vevo apps, reports say. The Vevo app a relatively recent addition to the Apple TV platform, having debuted in the US in August. The NHL app, though, dates back to 2011, and has already reached a number of other countries, making its German introduction unusually late.
Jobs himself showed off technology months ahead of patent application
In a nearly-perfect example of how strange and convoluted patent law can become, an Apple patent on the "bounceback" effect when scrolling -- part of the family of patents known as "rubber-banding" technologies -- has been ruled invalid in Germany because Jobs demonstrated the effect during the iPhone announcement from January 2007, five months before the company applied for the patent. The law in Europe classifies this as "prior art" even though it is from the same company.
Hack of Vodafone Germany servers believed to be an inside job
Vodafone Germany has revealed that customer data for more than two million accounts have been seized by hackers in a recent server intrusion. The theft, said to be an inside job, involved the names, addresses, date of birth, gender, bank sort code, and bank account numbers for a large chunk of its customer base, though Vodafone adds that credit card data, phone numbers, passwords, and call data was not accessed.
Follows from Telus report, suggests Apple to keep 16GB as entry model
Just one day after reports that Canadian carrier Telus is going to discontinue the larger-capacity iPhone 5 models on September 28 -- one day after the expected arrival of the forthcoming iPhone 5S -- Vodafone Germany has been seen to be taking the same action on both the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 units, as well as the 16GB iPhone 4S through the leak of an internal email. The move reinforces speculation that Apple plans to fully retire the iPhone 4 design and make the 16GB iPhone 5 its "entry level" phone, with the "iPhone 5C" as the mid-range offering.
Could potentially double current LTE speeds
A new statement by Deutsche Telekom may suggest that the iPhone 5S will support LTE-A, also known as LTE+. Telekom is launching LTE+ service later this month, which will allow Germans to reach speeds up to 150Mbps. In its announcement, the carrier notes that Samsung is planning to offer an LTE+ version of the Galaxy S4, and that "appropriate devices from other manufacturers will follow the end of September."
Feature should return in near future
The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court has stayed enforcement of an injunction blocking push email for German iCloud users, reports say. The injunction stems from a lawsuit filed by Motorola, and was originally issued by the Mannheim Regional Court in February 2012. With the Karlsruhe ruling, push email should return as soon as Apple can post a bond, meant to ensure that Motorola can collect damages should it win the related lawsuit.
Apple partnering with AIG
Apple's rumored European expansion of AppleCare+ will initially reach just six countries, sources say. A launch is reportedly "imminent" in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK, although no exact dates are available. Apple is said to be partnering with AIG on the service; local AppleCare and Genius Bar workers started training for AppleCare+ earlier this week.
US asks for most user data, followed by India, UK, Italy, Germany
Government agencies representing 74 countries requested details from 38,000 Facebook accounts in the first half of the year, the social network has revealed. Its first Global Government Requests Report, similar to transparency reports published by Microsoft and Google, shows the governments of the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany as making the largest numbers of requests for user data from Facebook for the period.
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.
Early Java update may be faulty
Two significant technical problems hit Apple over the weekend, accounts say. The first is the discovery that early installers of last week's Lion/Mountain Lion Java update may have downloaded a premature build, xM4508, which can prevent some Java apps from working. The corrected version is xM4509, and is available via Software Update or Apple's support page. People can check which build they have installed by entering "/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6 -exec java -version" into Terminal.
Amazon signs deal with CBS, Star Trek reaches Lovefilm in UK, Germany
Amazon has signed a multi-year deal with CBS Studios to stream shows from CBS and Showtime on Lovefilm in the UK and Germany. Subscribers of the streaming service will have access to episodes of Californication, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, and both the 1960s original Star Trek and Star Trek Voyager from today, with other shows heading to it in the future.
Extends coverage to two-year period demanded by EU law
Apple has updated its default warranties in Belgium, France, and Germany to reflect European Union law, reports say. EU regulations require covering the sort of goods Apple sells for two years. Until now, though, Apple only marketed its warranties as covering one year in the above countries, drawing criticism from governments and consumer groups. The company was only giving two-year warranties to people paying for extended AppleCare packages.
Feature may be in testing for broader international launch
A German Mac enthusiast site has noticed that the Apple online store in Germany is now accepting PayPal as a payment option, a new wrinkle that could appear in the US and other countries over time. While PayPal has been an option for payment in the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store, it was never previously available for any kind of hardware or online retail purchase from Apple.
Case previously dismissed, appeal sends ruling back for review
The German Federal Court of Justice has demanded that Google must censor autocomplete suggestions if they are defamatory or insulting. An unidentified company selling nutritional supplements brought the suit, claiming that when the company name was entered on Google Germany's website, it alleged fraud, and directed searchers to controversial Scientology sites.
Apple can't ask for 'global consent' for data use, court finds