Amazon adds Audible audio support to Echo speaker
Amazon has updated its Echo network-connected speaker to work with Audible. Via voice prompts using the Alexa assistant or the Amazon Echo App, the speaker can start reading out Audible audiobooks to the user, with vocal commands allowing the book to be requested by title, paused, resumed, and to go forward or back 30 seconds. It also works with Whispersync for Voice, allowing listeners to pick up an audiobook from where they left off on another device.
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.
Model still not available in US
The 8GB iPhone 5c is now on sale in 14 more countries, checks show. When the 8GB option first became available last month, it launched in just a handful of regions. The model is newly available in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Service now in oer 40 countries
Apple has once again expanded the availability of iTunes Match, the company's music upload and streaming service, reports say. The service is now available in several more countries, including Austria, Italy, Greece, Portugal,and Slovenia. In Italy the service is priced at €25 a year.
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.
Android secures grip in Greece, Portugal
Apple's dependence on high carrier subsidies for the iPhone is giving Android devices an advantage in parts of Europe, especially the south, suggests research firm IDC. The group notes that Apple had over 20 percent of the US and UK smartphone markets last year. But in Greece and Portugal, two of the countries hardest hit by European economic problems, the iPhone claimed just 5 and 9 percent shares, respectively. Shipments of smartphones costing over $300 before subsidies dipped below 50 percent in those countries.
Goes beyond web, iPad, set-tops
Global iPlayer will make it to the iPhone and iPod touch on December 8th, the BBC has announced. The paid video-on-demand service has been available on the iPad for about five months. A list of countries getting the iPhone app on the 8th includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Prices start at $4.25, limited selection
A MacNN reader has reported an announcement from Apple that iTunes movie rentals are now available in that country. While the iTunes Store has been available for music in Portugal since October of 2004, this is the first time movies have been available for rental. Prices for film rentals appear to start at 3€, or about $4.25. The country also recently got its own iBookStore at the end of September. Apple only got iTunes stores running in all EU countries last month.
Apple adds bulletpoints for upcoming iPhone event
Apple has dramatically expanded the presence of iTunes in Europe, reports say. In addition to Poland, the iTunes Music Store is now accessible in 11 more European countries. The remainder of the list includes Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Concentration stays on Europe, east Asia
Apple has formally debuted the iPad in 10 additional countries. In eastern Asia, the tablet is now available in Taiwan and South Korea, joining the likes of China and Japan. The remaining launches are all European, and include Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Early iPhone 3G unboxing
A man from Portugal has already managed to secure an 8GB iPhone 3G, photos and forum posts suggest. The poster claims to have got his hands on the device in advance of its official July 11th launch without having to pay; although refusing to say where the phone came from, one photo shows the device operating on Vodafone Portugal's network. Internet access speeds are "really good," according to the poster.
Optimus iPhone 3G prices
Optimus, a Portugese carrier controlled in part by Sonae and France Telecom, has announced its prices for the iPhone 3G. To buy the phone without a contract will cost €499 for an 8GB model, or €599 for 16GB. After this shoppers will have to agree to a pre- or post-paid plan; the former has a €20 monthly recharge rate, but includes 250 texts and 250MB of Internet data; each voice minute or extra text costs 17 cents. The post-paid plans require minimum usages worth €15, €30 or €50, but gradually shrink the extra voice and text fees, while offering text and data bundles ranging between 100/100MB and 500/500MB.
PT, ITA iPhone 3G plans
International carrier Vodafone has announced the monthly rates for the iPhone 3G in Portugal and Italy. In the former country, most phones will require a two-year contract; the cheapest plan is the "Best iPhone 100" option, which costs approximately €30 per month, and offers 100 minutes, 100 texts and 250MB of data traffic. Best iPhone 230 (€45) upgrades to 230 minutes and texts, while the 500 plan (€65) graduates to its own corresponding numbers. Data remains fixed. Prices for the actual phones range from €299 (8GB) and €389 (16GB) under the 100 plan to €129 and €219 under the 500 option.
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.
iPhone in Spain, Poland?
Several more deals are in the works for expanding iPhone distribution, says Thomson Financial News. The group first writes that Orange, owned by France Telecom, is seeking to sell the iPhone outside of its home territory, where the device has been available since November. Orange CFO Gervais Pellissier says his company is currently in negotiations with Apple on the matter, and is looking to bring the iPhone to countries such as Spain and Poland, "among others." The carrier also has operations in regions such as Romania, Slovakia, Israel and the UK.