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Tag - India
Facebook's project to provide people in developing countries access to essential websites has come under fire in India, with the local telecommunications regulator banning free mobile data programs that appear to go against net neutrality principles. Free Basics, the Facebook-created service is no longer allowed to operate in the country, after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) instituted new regulations effectively forbidding it.
Apple is apparently getting closer to launching its first retail stores in India, with the government reportedly preparing to fast-track the company's application. A source of a report claims Apple will be able to bypass a number of regulations that typically prevent foreign entities from setting up stores to sell their own products, with Apple deemed a "provider of cutting-edge technology" and is being given preferential treatment.
At a "Town Hall" meeting with employees following the company's Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly rejected the notion -- long favored by analysts -- that Apple needs a "pared down" and inexpensive iPhone model in order to attract buyers in developing or "emerging" markets like India. While most of the meeting dealt with a rehash of information given during the analyst call, some was concerned with employee matters like retention incentives, as well as saying the Apple TV and tvOS both have "bright" futures.
Apple is getting closer to launching its first retail locations in India, after it recently filed with local regulators its intention to build Apple Stores in the country. While there is an Apple retail presence in India, it is via third-party resellers rather than those owned and operated by Apple itself, but the company is now looking to change this by filing an intention to open stores with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).
Hot on the heels of a price cut to the iPhone 5s that saw its price cut nearly in half, Apple has reduced prices on its latest iPhones, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, by between 11 and 16 percent to bring the prices closer to US pricing. While the iPhone 5s' price was cut from 44,500 rupees ($663), it now sells for 25,000 rupees ($372). After the new price cut, the iPhone 6s is still expensive, but more realistically priced at Rs 48,500 ($732) compared to the $649 price for the same base model in the US.
A new study (PDF) by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) claims that as of the end of September, more than 101 million iPhones were in use in the United States, a ratio approaching one iPhone for every three Americans. The study further found that of that number, 62 million units -- were recent models from either this year or last. The majority, 58 million, are 2014's iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, with only four million of the latest model sold in the US in the first weekend of availability before the end of the September quarter.
Apple has shipped the Apple Watch in India, as previously indicated, with the wearable devices offered in the country approximately seven months after its initial launch. There is also news that Apple may be getting closer to launching its own stores in India, instead of relying on a network of distributors, with it apparently in discussions with the government about relaxing certain restrictions that prevent Apple from proceeding.
US retail chain Target has begun carrying the Apple Watch across its entire US and online stores, limited to the regular and Sport versions of the device. As with Best Buy and other mass-market third-party retailers, Target will only carry a limited selection of optional Apple accessories such as extra bands, and will not carry the gold Edition or the Hermes collection versions. Both the 38mm and 42mm sizes will be available, and buyers can opt to add additional AppleCare+ coverage.
Apple has launched a pilot program in India, which will bring the store-in-a-store concept to consumer electronics chain Croma. The design identity of the locations will remain the same as in the US locations, and the personnel will be trained by Apple, a departure from the franchise model currently used in the country.
Following a meeting with the President of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as we reported previously. According to a report in the Times of India, the two discussed the possibility of Apple setting up manufacturing facilities in the country, as well as how Apple Pay might be implemented there. Cook is said to have "responded positively" to both proposals, which could open the door to official Apple Stores in the country.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.7 ( -0.57 )
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe