Global release of Firefox for iOS expected before end of this year
Mozilla has started to publicly show its attempt at bringing Firefox to iOS, with an initial test launch in just one country. The mobile browser has been unveiled in a public preview in New Zealand with expansion to a "few more countries" expected in the coming months, with Mozilla using the limited launch to receive feedback on a number of features before it has a wider release to users in the rest of the world later this year.
Switches to Apple Store gift cards for bonuses
Apple has launched the Australia and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School promotion. Qualifying university students, parents, and educational staff are being given gift cards matched to the device they buy; unlike last year, though, the cards are for the Apple Store, rather than for the Mac or iOS App Store. A similar change was made last year for the American Back to School promo.
Photos web app gets zoom, quick email sharing
Apple has upgraded the iCloud.com Photos app with a couple of new features, users note. The first is a zoom slider for uploaded content. People can also more easily share photos via email, using a new pop-up window on the site. Access to Photos requires activating the iCloud Photo Library beta through iOS' Settings app, and will remove any images on a device that were synced via iTunes.
Australia, France, Germany among new countries with movies
Apple has added a collection of new locations to its Flyover feature in Maps, and new countries to the list that can access movie listings through Siri. In the former category are Avignon, Biarritz, and Perpignan in France; the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater in Arizona; Devil's Tower in Wyoming, Dunedin in New Zealand, Royal Gorge in Arkansas, and finally Visby in Sweden. Apple has been slowly updating the number of areas with Flyover support since iOS 6 was released in 2012.
Netflix launching video streaming service in Australia, New Zealand from March
Netflix is planning to expand its service to Australia and New Zealand from early next year. Starting from March 2015, the streaming video service will be available in the two countries, complete with 4K video playback with compatible devices, though The Next Web notes the inclusion of "a curated selection" in the announcement points to a more limited TV show and movie collection at launch than in other territories.
Countries include Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Italy
The second group of international iPhone 6/6 Plus launches will happen on September 26, checks at Apple's international storefronts indicate. Some countries discovered so far include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The United Arab Emirates will get the new phones on September 27.
Data wrapped up in copyright infringement, legal battle since seizure in 2012
Data from the machines seized in 2012 as part of a warrant search on Kim Dotcom's mansion in New Zealand and the home of Bram van der Kolk will be returned soon, on the order of the New Zealand Court of Appeals. It was announced this week that the court has ordered the police to release clones of the devices and computer seized to Dotcom and his second-in-command at Megaupload. It was ordered that the data be released immediately, but could also be released in pieces if it could speed up the delivery.
Trouble may also be affecting iMessage
iCloud users in Australia and New Zealand have been experiencing outages for about half a day, according to complaints. Most affected people say they can't reach any iCloud functions, and some people complain that iMessage is failing as well. Apple's System Status page has made no mention of the downtime.
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.
Supreme court finds lower ruling 'erroneous, greatly complicates defense
The New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled against Internet maven Kim Dotcom, declaring that US prosecutors did not need to pre-disclose evidence against him in a July extradition hearing. The appeals hearing ruled that the lower court was erroneous in its ruling that demanded disclosure of the evidence. A summary of the evidence has already been provided to Dotcom, and is sufficient for defense purposes at this stage, the judges ruled.
Countries operate on different sales timetable
Apple has begun its annual Back to School promotions for Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Apple is offering a $100 App Store gift card with qualifying Macs, and a $50 card with iPhones and iPads. Equivalent cards are being given out in New Zealand, but with prices adjusted to $125 NZ and $65 NZ, respectively.
Trademark law requires Apple aggressively defend its marks
A small-time inventor in New Zealand has accomplished something Samsung has not: he has won against Apple in court. The case revolved around Hayden Crowther's use of the name "driPhone" for his line of waterproof phone cases. Apple, obligated by trademark law to "aggressively" protect its trademarks or risk losing them, sued over the concern that consumers would think the cases were an Apple product. A New Zealand court disagreed.
LG G Pad 8.3 heading to retail in the UK and Ireland
LG is launching its G Pad 8.3 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, in time for the holiday shopping rush. The tablet, with an 8.3-inch 1080p display, a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, 5MP and 1.3MP cameras, 4,600mAh battery and 16GB of storage, will cost £260 ($415) when it goes on sale.
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.
English-speaking and Nordic countries in initial rollout plans
Apple is expected to make English-speaking and Nordic countries the first wave of its expansion of iTunes Radio into non-US countries, pulling ahead of main rival Pandora in terms of international reach, Bloomberg reports. Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," Apple expects to bring the new streaming-radio feature of iTunes to Canada, the UK, several Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand in a timeframe said to be aimed for early 2014.
Megaupload founder denies resisting arrest
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has filed a lawsuit against the New Zealand government, alleging he was subjected to illegal surveillance and misconduct during the subsequent raid on his home. Legal filings referenced by The New Zealand Herald outline the case, which seeks NZ$8.55 million (~$7 million USD) in damages.
UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days
The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.
Grants small discounts toward Macs and iPads
Apple has begun the Australian and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School promotion. In Australia, students, school staff, and parents of students can get a $100 AU gift card with the purchase of a Mac, or a $50 AU card with an iPad with a Retina display. The New Zealand promotion is similar, simply adjusting the cards to $125 NZ and $65 NZ, respectively. The cards can only be used towards apps, books, movies, and music on iTunes.
US still stuck at two weeks
iPhone 5 shipping times at Apple's online store have been reduced down to one week in some countries. So far Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore are known to have improved times, and other countries may as well. US and Canadian shipping times, though, are still listed at two weeks, a reversal of the normal situation.
Apple expected to sell up to 1.5M units over first weekend
MacNN has received reports that people camped out overnight in New Zealand and Australia to be among the first to purchase the iPad mini as it officially went on sale at Apple retailers in the two countries, which are 20 hours ahead of the west coast of the US due to time zone differences. The lineups, which are much shorter than those for the iPhone 5, are most people's first opportunity to get their hands on the product, since pre-orders sold out quickly (within a few hours for the white model) and only a few customers have received theirs early.
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.
Not enough detail on items sought, reason for search
Judge Helen Winkelmann of the New Zealand High Court ruled that police warrants used to seize property from Megaupload file-sharing site founder Kim Dotcom were illegal. The warrants used did not properly describe the offenses that they were related to, lacked details of the copyright infringement offense, and did not specify the types of items to be searched for. As a logical extension to the ruling, Judge Winkelmann said that it was unlawful for copies of Dotcom's personal data to be taken to the United States for use and analysis by the FBI.
Claims company not served correctly and due process rights violated
Megaupload has filed a motion to dismiss all US Government charges, potentially bringing the case to an end. According to Torrent Freak, the legal team for the file repository argues that the US has violated Megaupload's due process rights by destroying the business while not properly serving the company. The motion comes a day after a New Zealand court demanded full disclosure of all evidence held by the US in a case seeking extradition of Kim “Dotcom” Schlitz and other executives.
New Zealand and Australia gain Spotify and chart apps
Spotify has expanded its music service to reach customers in Australia and New Zealand. As of today, both Southern Hemisphere countries will be able to use the streaming service, and will have country-specific apps offering curated music playlists. The launch takes place three months after Spotify first arrived in Germany.
Dotcom expecting $850,000 in cash, property
Kim Dotcom, Megaupload's beleaguered founder, will have some of his assets returned. Judge Judith Potter, the New Zealand High Court judge assigned to the asset seizure issue, reversed her previous decision on the matter and declared that a court-ordered seizure in January and a backup order filed in February were invalid and should not be enforced.
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.
Announcement for New Zealand customers
Acer's New Zealand division has confirmed that the Iconia Tab A500 will not receive an Android 4.0 upgrade until sometime in April. The announcement was directed at users in Australia and New Zealand, rather than the company's global customers, leaving the release timing unclear for other regions.
Could be linked to hard drive shortages
Apple's Time Capsule routers are seeing delays or shortages in different parts of the world, notes 9to5Mac. The company's online stores in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and France are sometimes seeing delivery times of one to three weeks for 3TB models, or one- to two-week delays for 2TB routers. Third-party vendors Amazon and Best Buy are out of 3TB models, and some Australian Apple Stores may be completely out of stock.
DotCom accuses police of punching him in the face
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has accused law enforcement authorities of using excessive force when he was arrested at his New Zealand residence on January 19. Dotcom claims the officers that entered his home were "quite aggressive" and punched him in the face, kicked him and stepped on his hands, according to a 3 News report.
Canada only country participating so far
Apple is engaging in a rare Boxing Week sale on the iTunes Store. Boxing Day takes place on December 26th in Australia, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. The Boxing Week promotion is already active, however, if only in Canada.
More expansions may be imminent
Following a botched rollout on Wednesday, Apple has today officially expanded iTunes Match to Canada and the UK. In Canada the service costs $28 a year, while in the UK annual pricing is set at £22. Unlike regular iCloud options, iTunes Match allows a person to mirror and remotely access their entire music library, regardless of whether the content is on iTunes.
Shipping times already at 2-3 weeks
The iPad 2 is now on sale through Apple's Australia and New Zealand online stores. Within the latter country, Wi-Fi iPads are priced at $799 NZ for 16GB, $949 for 32GB, and $1,099 for 64GB. 3G models are $998, $1,149 and $1,289, respectively.
Prominent launches include Australia, Canada
Apple has confirmed plans to release the iPhone 4 in 17 more regions on Friday. In North America, Canada will finally get the device; the bulk of additional launches are in Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Elsewhere, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore will begin sales.
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.
Next-gen iPhone talks
Apple is continuing to negotiate contracts for the next-generation iPhone, even as an anticipated announcement at WWDC approaches, information from New Zealand reveals. Using its Twitter feed, Telecom New Zealand has stated that it is not only in negotiations with Apple, but "very focused on the 3rd gen iPhone." The accuracy of the tweet has been reinforced by the carrier's retail chief, Alan Gourdie, who tells New Zealand's National Business Review that TNZ is in "deep discussions" with Apple.
Red Xbox 360 inbound
Microsoft is preparing to sell a red-colored version of its Xbox 360 console, a company memo has inadvertently revealed. Sent to retailers and the press in New Zealand, the memo nominally revolves a special promotion in which gamers will gain a free copy of Halo Wars if they buy a 360 between February 26th and March 26th; the game will otherwise cost $100 NZD. Also mentioned, however, is that the bundle "does not apply to the Red Xbox 360 Elite console which is exclusive to EB games."
Mil. data found on iPod
(Updated with correction) A used iPod bought by a New Zealand man, Chris Ogle, has been found to contain critical US military data, according to reports from the region. While unable to play music, the $15 iPod was found by Ogle to contain 60 pages of material related to US personnel, mission briefings and equipment deployments. The information mostly dates back to 2005, but contains names and personal data that remain relevant.
New Zealand store moves
A New Zealand-based Apple reseller, MagnumMac, has recently purchased a new building for occupation. Construction has already begun on the new storefront, which will be located in the center of Auckland's Newmarket shopping district, on the corner of Broadway and Khyber Pass. The location will serve as a replacement to a previous site in Newton, for which the lease expires in December. Existing customers have raised some concerns about the area's bad parking, but are claimed to understand the appeal of such a high-profile location. MagnumMac says it hopes to model the Newmarket shop after Apple's successful US-based stores, where the customer experience is highest priority.
iPhone 3G out in NZ
The first iPhone 3Gs have gone on sale in New Zealand, early reports say. The information comes courtesy of "iPhone Jonny," who claims to be one of the first in the world to buy the device, having waited several days in line in front of a Vodafone New Zealand outlet. The wait is said to have been particularly unpleasant, as New Zealand is currently in winter and it recently experienced one of its coldest days this year. Vodafone is charging a standard $199 NZD for an iPhone.
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.
iPhone New Zealand
Vodafone New Zealand revealed on Monday that the iPhone 3G in New Zealand will be priced at $199NZD (around USD$150) when purchased with a 24-month contract. With stocks expected to be "strictly limited," the company has to disclose the its rate plans for the new device, but is expected to announce a significant tariff restructuring in the next few days, moving away from the traditionally high data costs seen in the country. Previous price plans have seen charges of up to NZD$10 per 1MB of data, with dedicated 200MB bundles costing NZD$35, however, this is expected to drop to a more manageable cost of around NZD$10 per 10MB used for casual users. Like O2 in the UK, Vodaphone is promising that will be able to pre-order the iPhone 3G in the next few days.
Despite a series of conflicting news releases, Vodafone has confirmed that there will not be a pay-as-you-go version of the iPhone 3G available in New Zealand. NZMac.com first spotted the confusion in statements from Vodafone and Apple New Zealand which announced both contract and prepaid versions of the iPhone in various press releases. Vodafone cleared things up this morning, saying only the contract versions will be available in New Zealand and Portugal beginning in July 11.
Apple expands iTunes U
Apple on Tuesday further expanded its international iTunes U offerings into four new countries: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. According to Macworld, the free resource provides students with access to a wide variety of educational rich media from colleges and universities around the world, including UC Berkeley, University of Melbourne, Texas A&M, MIT, Yale, and Trinity College Dublin, among many others.
iPhone in New Zealand?
An expansion to New Zealand's cellular networks may open the way for the iPhone, a research firm observes. TeleGeography says it has learned from Telecom New Zealand's director of mobile operations, Martin Butler, that it is a "good inference" that the company will bring over the iPhone. It is in the middle of building a new, $300 million NZD ($241.2 million US) GSM/EDGE network, which should support the 850MHz frequency of the iPhone. Commercial rollout of the network is expected sometime in November, and should reach 97 percent of New Zealand's population.