Five markets to get Apple Pay earlier via partnership with American Express
Apple is expanding the number of countries Apple Pay will operate within, via a partnership with a credit card company. Advised as part of today's earnings call, Apple Pay will be usable in Australia and Canada for American Express customers before the end of this year, with American Express users in Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong also expected to be able to use the payment service when it becomes available next year.
Rose Gold color option most popular, now hard to find in most capacities
Analysts and pundits who worried that demand for a large-screen iPhone may have been sated with the release last year of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would seem to have no foundation for their concern. While no concrete numbers on pre-orders are out yet, the new Rose Gold anodized aluminum color option for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus has slipped to four to six weeks shipping time after the first day of sales, while Hong Kong completely sold out of new iPhone pre-orders on the first day.
Netflix plans early 2016 launches in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea
Netflix has revealed it is bringing its video streaming service to more countries in Asia in early 2016, following its launch in Japan last month. The service will be surfacing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea in the future, though Netflix has not offered a specific date for each country, but they will get a curated selection of popular TV shows and movies in HD and Ultra HD when it does go live.
Stanford MyHeart Counts app adding UK, Hong Kong participants
A health study app based on Apple's ResearchKit API has now started collecting health date from outside the US for the first time. Stanford University's MyHeart Counts app has started including participants in the UK as well as Hong Kong, the first international expansion for apps created using ResearchKit, which makes it easier for medical professionals to create, deploy and recruit participants in health and medical studies.
Canton Road Apple Store continues aggressive Apple China expansion
Apple has opened up its latest Apple Store in China, with the Canton Road location in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui district being the fourth outlet for the city. CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to thank the "thousands of Hong Kong customers" visiting the new location and joining in the celebration of the store launch, with the 23rd Apple Store constructed in China being part of a major retail expansion in the country for the company.
Mastercard, MLB team up to offer Apple Pay for food, merch, tickets
Mastercard and Major League Baseball have announced that the July 14 All-Star Game and the ongoing All-Star Fanfest, both taking place in Cincinnati, will accept Apple Pay for tickets, food, and merchandise at the two events. The Fanfest, which opened today and will run through to the day of the game, is being held at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
Apple forced to scrap finished units after breakdown tendency revealed in testing
A serious quality control issue that turned up just prior to the launch of the Apple Watch forced the company to scrap completed units, possibly in high volumes -- resulting in fewer devices available than had been previously planned at launch, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. A motor needed to power the haptic feedback engine in the Apple Watch that came from one Hong Kong-based supplier proved to be defective.
Malware entry vector not yet identified; may capitalize on jailbreak compromise
In an almost unheard-of claim, Lacoon Mobile Security has said that it has discovered a new spyware attack that targets both iOS and Android devices and which appears to be aimed specifically at Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Lacoon says it made the discovery while investigating the Android version, but did not clarify how the malware might be installed, or overcome the security built into iOS that has, thus far, kept it largely immune to serious malware or viruses.
iPhones 'still made in sweatshops,' group says
The launch of the iPhone 6 at Apple's Hong Kong store has been tumultuous, accounts say. Police were brought in to disperse people waiting in line without reservations, and a regional activist group -- Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM -- took advantage of the event to protest what it says are ongoing abuses by Apple suppliers. The group unfurled a large banner over the store reading "iSlave 6, Harsher than harsher, Still made in sweatshops," and published a new document about a nearly year-long investigation into one of Apple's most important suppliers, Pegatron.
MyGlass iOS update automatically synchronizes photos between Google Glass, iPhone
An update to MyGlass, the iOS Google Glass companion app, has been updated to allow users faster access to images shot using the headwear. The Next Web writes that photographs will now appear on an iPhone or iPad for editing when Photo Sync is enabled, viewable both via the app and a separate MyGlass album. The Android version of the app reportedly already has the function built in.
Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong among new places
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Includes separate iMovie, iBooks workshops
Apple has opened registration for the 2014 edition of its annual Apple Camps. The program is aimed at teaching creative projects to kids aged 8 to 12 while simultaneously promoting Apple products. This year, two sets of three-day workshops are available: one is dedicated to creating a short film using iMovie and the iPad version of GarageBand, while the other involves producing an interactive book using iBooks Author and illustrations done on an iPad.
Retail revenues virtually flat
As a part of announcing its second-quarter results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF), exposing further facts. They reveal, for instance, that Apple's iPad revenues dropped 16.4 percent year-over-year, shifting from roughly $8.7 billion to $7.6 billion. The company has typically seen continuous growth for the iPad, but units fell from just under 19.5 million to 16.3 million. Cook later clarified that inventory changes made the drop seem much more dramatic than it actually was in terms of end-user sales.
iPhone discounts extremely rare
Apple's planned Lunar New Year sale has already begun in east Asia, carrying with it some rare discounts. Above all are price drops on the iPhone, something the company almost never does. In Hong Kong, the iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4S have all been marked down by HK$ 390, for example bringing the price of a 16GB 5s down to HK$ 5,198 ($670 US).
Stock still solid at mainland Chinese storefront
The iPad Air is already sold out at Apple's Hong Kong online store, checks show. The tablet went on sale in the region earlier today, with initial delivery times quoted at one to two weeks. The sellout stands in contrast with other regions, including mainland China, which are still promising shipping within 24 hours.
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.
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.
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."
Demand less intense for \'budget\' iPhone
(Updated with other slippages) Supplies of the iPhone 5c -- which just went on sale this morning -- are mostly stable, checks show. While shipping times have grown to 1-2 weeks in Hong Kong, deliveries are still set for September 20th in all other launch regions. The closest exception to this is at Sprint in the US, which says that "some phones" will ship in up to 2 weeks, and that the yellow 32GB model is due in 3.
Unlocked phones otherwise de facto in city
Hong Kong Telecommunications is turning to the legal system in a complaint with the city's telecoms regulator over Apple iPhone locking, according to the Wall Street Journal. Unlocked phones are commonplace in Hong Kong; in fact, the city was one of the first regions in the world to get unlocked iPhones as an option. The iPhone 5, though, is only compatible with two 4G networks in the area, excluding HKT -- which is owned by Hong Kong's biggest telecoms company, PCCW.
Company rearranges presentation of figures
Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its first-quarter results, meant to accompany the main results announcement. Notably the company has chosen to reorganize the way some figures are presented. A "greater China" segment has been split off from the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, for instance, to account for the important of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Chinese revenue is up 67 percent year-over-year to $6.83 billion.
Event set for January 25
Apple has formally announced this year's Lunar New Year sale throughout much of southeast Asia. The event, also known as "Red Friday," is scheduled for January 25, and will include discounts on Macs, iPads, iPods, and accessories, as well as free shipping. An official gift guide has been published to go with the event, but as usual Apple hasn't revealed what the exact discounts will be. Those should only be published on the 25th itself.
Tablet out of stock in many stores
Apple is experiencing "insatiable demand" for the iPad mini in Hong Kong and mainland China, says Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst explains that based on checks with stores this week, virtually every model of the Mini appears to be selling out in Hong Kong. Similar sellouts have been taking place at mainland Apple Stores.
Rumor claims Nubia Z5 to reach China on December 21st
Images and specifications of a new low-resolution 5-inch phone-tablet from ZTE has been leaked. The budget-level phablet comes at the same time as rumors that ZTE's Nubia Z5 will be released in China on December 21st, as well as an official announcement of the company's first dual-mode Grand Era LTE smartphone in Hong Kong.
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.
Unicom allegedly preparing for December iPhone 5 launch
Shops in Hong Kong are still sold out of the iPhone 5, according to Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst is currently touring Asia, and says that in Hong Kong all of the stores he visited were out of the new iPhone. "At Apple's retail store, the iPhone 5 can be ordered online and a lottery process determines who is eligible for pickup at the store the next day," he comments in a new investor memo. "Based on our conversations, you might have a better shot at winning the lottery than getting the iPhone 5 the next day."
Full completion in Apple's key market expected by 2015
According to reports, Apple's next giant data center will be constructed in Hong Kong, China. Apple has recently selected a location in the New Territories area of Hong Kong. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2013, and it should take over a year for operations to commence at the new center. Full operation is planned by 2015. Apple is said to be selecting bids from local and international construction companies for the buildout of the facility.
More openings, re-openings coming this weekend
Apple will be offering one new store opening and one re-opening this weekend, with a store opening its doors for the first time in Cologne, Germany on Saturday September 1 and the Bellevue, Washington store hosting a grand re-opening party. In addition, construction is underway on a second Apple retail store for Hong Kong and a larger refurbishment for the store in New York's Walt Whitman mall. There's also information on stores in Montreal, Canada, and a change in Sweden.
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.
Hong Kong iTunes Store launch marred by bad translations
Apple has pulled a Russian-language malware app from the App Store, according to The Loop. The app, Find and Call, was identified as a trojan on Thursday by security firm Kaspersky. Users who downloaded the title would have their address books surreptitiously uploaded to a remote server, which would then spam text messages purported to be from the user to contacts including a link to download the app. An Android version of the app was also available at one point, but has gone missing from Google Play.
Set-top shows in fraction of new Asian iTunes regions
In tandem with an expansion of the iTunes Store, Apple is now selling the Apple TV in at least four more regions, checks show. These include Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Three of the new iTunes regions -- Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines -- don't have the set-top listed on their local Apple online stores.
Includes music, movies, iCloud services
Apple has announced that the iTunes Store is now available in 12 new regions in Asia. These include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Local visitors can now buy music from iTunes -- including local and international artists -- and either rent or buy movies, including titles from major studios like Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, and Warner Brothers.
Launch could be announced Wednesday
Apple is on the verge of announcing iTunes music, movies, and TV shows for several important Asian regions, sources say. An event is allegedly planned for tomorrow in Hong Kong; it may play host to musician Jason Mraz, as well as representatives from a number of Asian music labels. The labels are said to have been in talks with Apple as of last week, which may still be ongoing. New launch regions are believed to include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Company works to deter scalpers, lineups
Apple is sticking to a recent reservation system for the Hong Kong launch of the new iPad. According to Apple's website, shoppers will be able to register starting the morning of the 15th local time, and pick up an iPad the next day at the IFC Mall Apple Store. Signs spotted by Engadget warn people not to line up, informing them that "Apple will not serve on a first come first serve basis for new ipad [sic]."
Upgraded with Retina Display, quad-core A5X chip
Apple today announced the third-generation iPad at an event in San Francisco. The device's main feature is a 2048x1536 Retina Display, twice the resolution of the iPad 2, rated at 264 pixels per inch; existing apps will be upscaled automatically. Color saturation is said to be 44 percent higher. The tablet also makes the switch to a new dual-core but quad graphics processor, the A5X, which Apple says is built with the Retina Display in mind. Interface-wise the tablet has been improved with features like voice dictation.
Customers must provide full ID
Apple Hong Kong is taking stricter measures in a bid to cope with iPhone scalpers. A page on the company's online store now presents a lottery system for iPhone buyers, preventing them from using bots to make online reservations as soon as new phones are available. The iPhone 4 and 4S are no longer available to walk-in buyers at the company's Hong Kong retail store.
Parallels Black Friday offerings in US
As promised, Apple has launched special Lunar New Year online sales in a handful of countries. These are notably similar to the company's Black Friday deals in the US, which were modest in scope. At the Hong Kong Apple Store, for instance, Apple is offering about 8 percent off Wi-Fi iPads, or 6 to 7 percent off 3G models.
Claims copying Jobs' likeness may be criminal
Apple is threatening to sue Hong Kong company InIcons over its Steve Jobs figure, says UK newspaper The Telegraph. The product is set to go on sale next month for $100, and copy many details of Jobs' signature look, from facial features down to his sneakers. Apple, though, is reportedly claiming in a letter to InIcons that it has the rights to Jobs' likeness, along with more standard likenesses such as logos, products, and names.
Limited to handful of countries
Apple is running a special Lunar New Year promotion on Friday, January 6th, the company has announced. In China and Hong Kong, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines, people will be able to visit local Apple online stores for rare first-party discounts. As with the company's Black Friday sale, though, no prices are being advertised ahead of time.
Mandarin said coming to Siri by March
The iPhone 4S sold out in Hong Kong even faster than previously thought, a memo from Ticonderoga Securities' Brian White indicates. The analyst claims that both the city's Apple Store and all authorized resellers sold out within a space of three hours; Apple's local online store states that there is "no supply" of the phone left. Earlier accounts had just the Apple Store selling out by lunchtime.
Main purchases headed to mainland China
The Hong Kong Apple Store sold out of iPhone 4S stock within a matter of hours today, according to reports. The device went on sale at 7AM local time, but by lunchtime is said to have been unavailable from Apple directly. Approximately 1,250 people are claimed to have waited in an official line, while over 2,000 gathered outside of it. Although some carrier stores may still have stock, the Apple Store was possibly the surest way of getting a 4S, since pre-orders sold out in 10 minutes.
Aggressive scalpers blamed
An iPhone 4S lineup at the Hong Kong Apple Store, measuring in the hundreds, was broken up by police on Wednesday night, reports say. Even though the phone only officially launches in Hong Kong on Friday, 4S pre-orders sold out in 10 minutes; this may be why a store lineup first started forming around noon on Tuesday. Police were called in after a group of scalpers allegedly started threatening customers and trying to cut in line.
Lack of local Siri support may not be issue
Pre-orders for the Hong Kong version of the iPhone 4S sold out in a space of 10 minutes, says Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. The option became available this weekend, but was reportedly instantly swamped with buyers. Some iPhones should still be available for this Friday's launch, but only after waiting in line at a first- or third-party outlet.
Actually dates back to Jobs' resignation
A graphic created by a 19-year-old student at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University School of Design, Jonathan Mak, is enjoying massive popularity, Reuters reports. The image is a take on the standard Apple corporate logo, but with the "bite" replaced by a silhouette of Steve Jobs' head. Reuters notes that following Jobs' death, the graphic has become so popular online that caps and t-shirts with it are being sold an eBay, and Mak himself has received a job offer.
Largest location in China to date
Apple has today formally launched its Nanjing East store in Shanghai, China. The outlet is Apple's largest in China to date. One report notes that it may serve up to 40,000 people per day, and that some 300 store workers were present for the opening, with about 500 visitors lined up to become the first official customers. Reuters adds that some people flew in from nearby cities.
New Vancouver outlet coming
One or more thieves broke into the Renaissance at Colony Park Apple Store in Ridgeland, Mississippi on Monday morning, reports say. The incident occurred sometime around 4:30AM, and resulted in at least 20 computers being stolen. Local police say that a car was spotted traveling at high speed on the roundabout on Highland Colony Parkway and Old Agency Road at 4AM, which prompted them to patrol nearby businesses. The theft was called in to station roughly 20 to 30 minutes later.
May have triggered ripple effect for iPhone, iPad
The MacBook Air has been selling extremely well in Hong Kong since its debut there this week, says Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. The computer is said to have generated long lineups and stock-outs, and possibly even created a halo effect for other Apple products. Stores in the city are said to have been sold out of the iPhone 4, and some models of the iPad 2 as well.
Likely small corner of current smuggling operation
Customs officers in Hong Kong and mainland China have stopped an elaborate and unusual smuggling operation, reports say. To transport iPads and iPhones into the mainland, a pulley cable was strung over a river from a rural home in northern Hong Kong to a highrise in the city of Shenzhen. The cable was fired over the water using a crossbow, and the Apple hardware pulled into Shenzhen at night using nylon bags. A one-way trip for a bag is said to have taken roughly two minutes.
Hong Kong outlet could bring high traffic, costs
Apple is continuing its recent efforts to expand existing stores with one of its shops in Orlando, Florida, sources say. In the city's Mall of Millenia complex, Apple currently occupies a small ground-floor space which is said to be constantly flooded with visitors. When a lease on a larger second-floor space occupied by Z Gallerie came up for renewal earlier this year, the sources claim that Apple jumped on the prospect and ultimately outbid Z Gallerie.
First of two locations set for the sprawling city
Apple is reportedly set to open its first retail location in Hong Kong as early as this fall, unnamed sources have told M.I.C.. The company is said to be aiming its grand opening for early September, on the heels of an August debut for a separate location in Shanghai. The Hong Kong establishment reportedly fills a 15,000-square-foot space in the International Finance Center mall on Hong Kong Island.