AT&T finalizes acquisition of Nextel Mexico for $1.88 billion
AT&T has completed its acquisition of Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings. Approved by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, overseeing the restructuring of NII Holdings, as well as Mexico's telecom regulator IFT, the transaction costs AT&T $1.88 billion and grants them the spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores, and subscribers covered by the network. This is the second Mexico-related purchase completed by the carrier, having already acquired Iusacell.
Uber adds panic button, share ride status options to app in India
Uber has made changes to its mobile app in India, in order to help with rider safety, following rape allegations against one of its drivers in the country last year. Share my ETA has been replaced by Share Status, which lets the passenger share details of the car and driver' location and appearance to others, with two taps of a button instantly sending details to five pre-selected contacts. The second, a panic button marked with SOS, will help quickly make calls to authorities in the event of an accident or another emergency.
Plans to combine Nextel Mexico, Iusacell to improve coverage
AT&T has agreed to buy its second carrier in Mexico, a few months after purchasing Iusacell. The pending acquisition of Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings will cost AT&T $1.875 billion, minus any outstanding debt, with the purchase giving AT&T a considerable foothold in the Mexican wireless market, and expanding its reach further outside the United States.
Facebook attempts to reduce number of hoaxes in News Feed
Facebook is trying to reduce the number of fake or hoax stories that appear in a users News Feed. The social network will take into account whenever a user reports a post as a "false news story," as well as whenever users delete posts linking to an article, when deciding what is shown to other users. While Facebook will stop short of blocking the content entirely, it will give the flagged hoax a "reduced distribution" in News Feed, as well as adding a notice to the top of the post warning that users "have reported that this story contains false information."
Partners with Miami firm on ad sales
Apple has partnered with a Miami firm, Internet Media Services, in order to push iAd's presence deeper into the Latin American market. Forbes notes that businesses wanting to sell ad spots through iAd in the region will now have to go through IMS. The company is initially bringing iAd to its clients in Brazil, Mexico, and the Miami area.
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.
Mexican carriers expected to appeal government ruling to federal court
A Mexican government agency has absolved Apple itself of any wrongdoing in a trademark lawsuit over the name "iPhone," which was brought by a local call center company named "iFone" which had an earlier trademark on the phonetically-identical name. The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has declared that since Apple is not a telecommunications provider, it cannot be sued for trademark confusion; however, Apple's carrier partners in Mexico are liable for monetary fines and civil damages.
Delays follow path of international storefronts
Apple's online stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico now listing "March" shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro, shoppers note. Until recently, the stores were quoting February delivery dates. The new times are however consistent with changes at Apple's international storefronts.
Subsequent rollout phase set for November 1st
The iPhone 5s and 5c will launch in over 28 more countries on October 25th, Apple has announced. Italy, Russia, and Spain have been identified as the main launch regions that day, but the list also includes countries like Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, and Thailand. On November 1st, still another 12-plus countries will be added, including India, Mexico, and Turkey.
Amazon launches Kindle store in Mexico, Gandhi chain to sell devices
Amazon has launched its Kindle store and Kindle Direct Publishing in Mexico, providing over 70,000 Spanish titles, over 1,500 being free, and over 2 million ebooks overall. The Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite has also gone on sale in the Gandhi bookstore chain, at a cost of MXN$1,400 ($105) and MXN$2,400 ($180) respectively.
Lumia 510 released in India, Lumia 505 in Mexico
Nokia has reportedly started to roll out Windows Phone 7.8 to some of its handsets. At the same time as the mobile operating system upgrade to some of the company's handsets, Nokia has also launched the Lumia 505 in Mexico, and the Lumia 510 in India, both of which will launch with Windows Phone 7.8 out of the box.
Yahoo cites procedural errors, application of law
Sources within Yahoo say that the company has solid ground upon which to appeal a surprise $2.7 billion judgment handed down by a Mexican civil court last week. Details in the case remain murky even today, but sources familiar with Yahoo's plans indicate that the company believes the decision rests on shaky procedural ground and that there were multiple errors in the application of laws. Yahoo's appeal will likely be held by a panel of three judges in a superior court in Mexico City, though when that appeal may be filed is unclear.
Mexican iFone registered trade name four years before Apple
[Details of the case were severely misinterpreted by the original source, corrected version below] Apple has lost an injunction bid that would have allowed it to continue selling iPhone-branded products in Mexico. A court in Mexico City handed down a ruling last Thursday denying Apple's injunction request on the grounds that the iPhone brand is too phonetically similar to iFone, a brand belonging to a Mexican company that registered its name four years prior to Apple's filing for the iPhone brand mark. The decision stems from a legal action that Apple initially filed in 2009 requesting that the company cease using the iFone brand in order to head off the possibility of consumer confusion.
Foxconn could buy Sharp TV plants in China, Mexico
Hon Hai and Sharp are considering making a $1 billion investment in the latter's LCD plant in Sakai, Japan to help production of displays for Apple devices, Reuters reports. C.C. Lin, an official for Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- made the interest public earlier this week. Lin suggests that Hon Hai is also considering buying Sharp's TV assembly factories in China and Mexico; as for the Japanese investment though, Reuters indicates that an arrangement could be announced as soon as Friday.
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.
Italy, Spain, Sweden among prominent regions
The third-generation iPad is now on sale in an additional 25 countries. The emphasis is mostly on Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden are included. The only non-European countries are in fact Macau, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Shipping times still averaging 1-2 weeks
The iPhone 4S is now formally on sale in 22 more countries, following an expansion of preorders exactly a week ago. For the time being Apple has adopted a European focus; new regions include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. More regions should be added over the course of the next several months.
Ireland, Spain, Sweden among major regions
Apple has opened up iPhone 4S preorders to 22 previously unserved countries. The phone is now available in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Shipping times are typically listed at one to two weeks, a delay consistent with the US online store.
Some regions temporarily barred from selling apps
iTunes Connect is officially scheduled to undergo maintenance today between 9AM and 4PM Pacific time, developers reveal. The service represents the backend of iTunes, the means by which people submit audio, video and applications. Apple is cautioning app developers to avoid making pricing changes during the downtime, since that will cause an app to disappear from sale until the maintenance is over. At that point an app should return with its new pricetag.
Reading, UK Apple Store opens on Saturday
Apple is planning to open a new store in El Paso, Texas, city building permits show. The outlet will be based on the ground floor of the Cielo Vista Mall, which is found alongside Interstate 10 on the east side of the city. It will specifically be located next to a Gap clothing store, and the permits give an estimated construction cost of $500,000. It could open in early 2012 based on construction schedules.
A splash page at the Best Buy Mexico website is claiming that iWork '11 will be launched on February 19th. The graphic provides little other information, except to say an event is taking place at 7PM that day. Apple has not formally announced an iWork update, nor is any event mentioned on the US Best Buy website.
More launches expected soon
Apple has greatly expanded the international reach of the new Apple TV, bringing it to Mexico and Japan, as well as several European countries including Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Some sample prices include a cost of €119 in Italy, and 129 CHF in Switzerland. Both of those regions should now have HD movie rentals via the iTunes Store.
Shop would serve several regions
Apple has been searching El Paso, Texas for a place to put a new retail store, a report claims. Real estate sources in fact suggest that the company has most likely settled on the Sunland Park Mall, a two-level complex in a neighborhood with higher-than-average household income as compared to the city as a whole. A current lease plan shows three large spaces available on the ground level.
Second wave of countries due in July
Clearing up a formerly ambiguous timetable, Apple has announced that the international launch of the iPad is now set for May 28th. Nine regions will get the tablet initially: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. A second wave is only expected in July, including Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
Video hints at unique hardware
Several videos have surfaced that claim a revised Palm Pre may be heading to Mexico's Telcel carrier, allegedly with the addition of a MicroSD card slot. The videos, originating from the Mexican site Matuk, contain a preview of the Pre sporting a Telcel icon. The person in the video makes a reference to a memory card slot.
Mex., Brazilian stores
Apple has launched a Mexican version of the iTunes Music Store, opening up digital music sales to the country. All tracks are DRM-free, as in the US, but cost a universal 12 pesos individually, though album prices may vary. Music videos cost approximately 24 pesos each. The Mexican iTunes Store as a whole continues to lack some features; though iPhone apps are available, movies and TV shows are not. Similarly, the mobile version of the iTunes Store remains non-functional.
Contract-free Mex. iPhone
Telcel is now offering a contract-free version of the iPhone 3G in Mexico. The cost of an iPhone under this scheme is $7,899 MXN ($708 USD) for a 8GB model, or $9,199 MXN ($817 USD) for a 16GB model. Telcel also notes that users who choose this option are being given $500 MXN ($45 USD) worth of talk time, and 30 days of unlimited 3G browsing. In order to receive the fulal value of the promotion, however, people must use $100 MXN worth of talk time in a month. If this requirement is met, their account will be credited with an additional $100 MXN renewable up to a total value of $500 MXN.
Apple retail 8AM launch
With a little over three days to go before the iPhone 3G sees its launch, Apple has clarified a time where customers can find the device in its retail stores, while potential New Zealand and Mexican iPhone customers can now browse official rates. Apple silently placed a notice on its retail homepage, saying that customers can get the long-awaited device at its US retail stores at 8AM on July 11th, coinciding with AT&T's previously announced morning launch.
Mexican iPhone in June?
The iPhone could be headed to Mexico as soon as June, a Mexican newspaper reports. The paper cites a source within Apple, who says that the company is in talks with Telcel, Mexico's largest cellular carrier. Reporters are also said to have made a number of calls to Apple US customer support, and been told multiple times that while iPhones cannot currently be shipped to Mexico, the phone should become available domestically in June. This is the same month as Apple's planned iPhone 2.0 firmware update.
40 new retail stores in 08
Some 40 new Apple retail stores will open in 2008, a company executive says. Speaking at a press event for the 14th Street store in New York City, senior retail VP Ron Johnson has said that Apple will expand with an international focus in the new year. The first Brazilian store is in fact opening this month in the Shopping Iguatemi mall in Sao Paulo, and the city will get a second store within 2008, located inside Shopping Marketplace. Apple is meanwhile rumored to be negotiating for space in the Torre Mayor office complex in Mexico City, a structure that includes 33,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.