Visits with German Chancellor, Israeli President for former president
Fresh from his trip to Germany, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple VP of Hardware Technology Johny Srugi -- the latter a graduate of Israel's Technion Institute of Technology -- have made their way to Israel for meetings and to attend the opening of a new set of Apple R&D offices in Herzliya. Along with the announcement of a nearly $2 billion investment in two new data centers to be located in Europe, Cook and Srugi met with various Israeli officials, including President Rueven Rivlin and former president Shimon Peres.
Reason Cook is in Germany not clear, pays visit to Bild tabloid newspaper
Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, spending a portion of his day with the editors of the German tabloid paper Bild, though the reasons for the visit were not made clear. Cook may be in Germany for a variety of reasons, ranging from meetings with EU bankers to help forge European Apple Pay agreements, to overseeing the last of the glass panels for the Apple Campus 2, or on his way to Israel to help open the new Apple R&D center there. While in Germany, he tweeted a remembrance of what would have been Steve Jobs' 60th birthday.
Prices dip in Israel, New Zealand
Apple is raising iOS and Mac App Store prices in several countries, according to an email memo sent to developers. The hikes will impact Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa. Apple blames the change on fluctuations in exchange rates, which the company adjusts for on a regular basis.
Short video clip made available by Israeli PM's office
As reported previously, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple headquarters as part of a California-driven initiative to strengthen commercial ties between the state and Israel. In a short video posted to the prime minister's official YouTube channel, Netanyahu can be seen touring Apple's headquarters and posing with Cook ahead of a lunch meeting.
Israeli models launching on November 3rd
(Updated with UAE info) Israel's Cellcom, Orange, and Pelephone have announced plans to launch the iPhone 5s and 5c on November 3rd, according to local business publication Globes. The carriers were previously expected to debut the new phones on November 7th. Cellcom will sell a 16GB 5s for NIS 3,700, and a 16GB 5c for NIS 3,000. Pelephone is asking NIS 3,680 and 3,220 for the same models. No Orange prices have been announced; sources say that HOT Mobile is also expected to get the new iPhones, but no dates or prices have been hinted at.
'Dozens' of former Texas Instruments workers recruited
After the announcement in September that Texas Instruments (TI) would be laying off up to 250 engineering jobs (out of a planned cut of more than 1,700 employees), Apple may be using the opportunity to recruit "dozens" of engineers and specialists for its research centers in Hertezliya and Haifa in Israel, according to reports. Many of the engineers came for TI's own Israel-based OMAP and other smartphone and mobile chips. TI is said to be shutting down all Israeli operations, creating a pool of available processor talent.
Intent of Israeli expansion still unclear
Apple has started hiring for two new chip engineering jobs in Israel, notes AppleInsider. The company is looking for two "SoC Backend Physical Design Engineers," to be based in the Haifa and Herzliya Pituah regions of the country. People hired for the jobs will be required to handle "physical implementation of a complete SoC [system-on-chip] from net list to tape-out," including aspects like clock and power distribution, and power and noise analysis. The openings join five others in Israel, all involving engineering. Most of these are situated in Herzliya Pituah.
Some hiring already underway
Apple is preparing to engage in a major hiring spree for its upcoming Israeli research and development facility, local reports claim. The campaign will allegedly involve posting ads for "dozens" of positions at the facility, to be based in Haifa's Scientific Industries Center. Toward the end of March Apple was already running four ads for engineering jobs, but the intensity of recruitment is said to be picking up.
India biggest among new regions
Apple has once again expanded sales of the third-generation iPad. The tablet is now available in another nine countries, the biggest of these being India. Colombia, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa, and Thailand are also on the list.
Company reportedly hiring engineers
Apple is hoping to open a research center in Haifa, Israel by the end of February, local business publication Calcalist reports. The facility will allegedly find its home in the Matam district to the south, in the vicinity of other research centers for companies like Intel and Microsoft. Apple is said to have already received "several hundred" resumes for a variety chip engineering positions, with a focus on electrical circuits, analogue and hardware testing and verification.
US launch planned for 2012
Motorola has confirmed that it has invested in Shaker, an Israeli startup that specializes in social networking experiences. Shaker last year won an award at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference for its Facebook game that enables users to socialize in a virtual bar and meet new contacts.
Brazil, Russia, South Africa among major regions
The iPhone 4S is now available in over 20 more countries, checks show. A list includes Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. The expansion coincides with expansions of the iTunes Store and iTunes Match.
Company could build development center
A senior research and development executive with Apple, Dr. Edward H. Frank, is currently on a reconnaissance tour of Israel, says local business newspaper the Calcalist. Frank is claimed to be investigating the potential of starting an Apple development center in the country, following in the steps of other high-tech corporations like Google, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The executive is in fact said to have already met with Intel Israel executives; he is also allegedly holding meetings with Israeli startups looking to impress Apple.
Government claims app encourages violence
The Israeli government has asked Apple to ban a pro-Palestinian application, named ThirdIntifada, from the App Store. The government has expressed concerns of the app's content, claiming the articles and news stories, written in Arabic, encourage violence against Israel. The app essentially serves as a link to a website of the same name.
Camera touted as world's smallest
Israeli medical device company Medigus has created what it claims to be the world's smallest video camera, with a diameter of just 0.99mm. The technology is geared for medical applications that require a small-diameter endoscopic device, potentially enabling new procedures that prove impossible with the larger cameras currently in use.
Might also include 'Digital Library' facility
Apple is looking at building its first Israeli retail store in Jerusalem, claims the Jerusalem Post. The company is said to be negotiating with real estate firm Bet Yair for a facility measuring some 5,000 square meters, a colossal 53,820 square feet. The reason is that the building would also allegedly serve as an educational center, including the world's first "Apple Digital Library" open to the public.
Sales still limited to official reseller
Promised for some time, the iPad is now officially on sale in Israel. Both 3G and Wi-Fi versions of the tablet are available. Prices start at 2,249 ILS ($623) for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, and run through to 3,299 ILS ($915) for a 32GB 3G system. A 64GB 3G tablet is listed, but the pricing is currently missing.
Most employees to be laid off
Israel-based cellphone developer Modu has announced that most of its employees will be laid off after the company failed to establish an IPO in Tel Aviv. Despite the bleak outlook, founder Dov Moran has expressed hope that the company will succeed in raising money from "other sources of capital." The executive did not provide further details, however.
Apple ramps up international reach
The iPhone 4 should be launching in several more countries over the course of the next week. Three rollouts are scheduled for September 24th, when Israel will get the phone through Orange, Turkey through Turkcell and Vodafone, and Thailand via TrueMove. Although some 200,000 Thais are said to have pre-ordered, only 45,000 to 60,000 phones may actually be ready for launch day.
Long road awaits Chinese iPad
The iPad will officially launch in Israel in a few weeks, according to the country's Apple importer, iDigital. So far the only way of getting an iPad into Israel has been to buy one abroad or as a gray-market import; Reuters reports that an Israeli electronics chain will start selling iPads later this week at a base cost of 3,800 shekels, or $1,000. Those tablets will lack warranties and complete Hebrew support, iDigital notes.
Greenlights wireless tech
The Israeli government has removed a short-lived hold on iPad imports, according to IDG News. The device was blocked on the basis that it might not conform to local and/or European Wi-Fi standards. IDG adds that one Israeli legislator suggested the tablet might interfere with military frequencies.
iPad has yet to undergo local Wi-Fi tests
The Israeli government has reportedly banned early iPad imports, according to the local paper Haaretz. The move does not represent a complete prohibition of the devices, but rather a temporary halt of the first production run that was only designed to be sold in the US instead of international markets.
Owner still awaiting compensation
Israeli Border Police allegedly destroyed a MacBook Pro owned by Lily Sussman, a student and US citizen who was recently interrogated while crossing from Egypt into Israel, according to her blog. The guards thoroughly searched Sussman's belongings while asking questions about people she knows, where she is traveling, her stance on the local conflicts, and her family, among other things.
Device long delayed
Beginning at midnight Wednesday local time, Israelis will at last be able to buy the iPhone, Reuters reports. Cellcom will be the first carrier with the device, though it is set to be followed by Orange and Pelephone on Thursday. In contrast with some earlier reports, each of the carriers is being required to buy just 80,000 iPhones for resale rather than 100,000.
May run against international Apple policy
Apple's Israeli reseller, iDigital, is instituting a discriminatory campaign against imported Apple products, a local protest group claims. Macs sold in the region are said to cost up to twice as much as in the US, prompting some Israelis to buy computers while traveling abroad. In theory, the international warranties provided with Macs should get users repair coverage from any authorized repair site.
Israeli iPhone delays
The launch of the Israeli iPhone continues to be beset by problems, a regional website notes. Although Apple has signed deals with carriers Orange, Cellcom and Pelephone, iSpot notes that the device is not yet available in the country. The release date has in fact been delayed twice, and is now only scheduled for October. Carriers are each being required to sell 100,000 iPhones per year, for a duration of three years.
Israeli iPhone coming
Israelis should finally be able to buy the iPhone in the near future, announcements reveal. Partner Communications -- which operates the Israeli division of Orange -- says it has signed an agreement with Apple Sales International, which will allow it to sell iPhones domestically for a period of at least three years. Partner is in turn expected to buy a minimum number of iPhones each year, representing a "significant portion" of all its cellphone purchases.
Mac OS X in Hebrew
Israelis and others can now use Mac OS X in Hebrew, says Apple's official distributor in the country, iDigital. Although versions of the operating system have been available elsewhere and in many languages since 2001, this is the first official translation of the software for Israel, developed over the course of two months. The company says it was assisted by a collection of third-party testers.