Copyright © 2016
Tag - Singapore
Countries that celebrate the lunar new year (which begins on February 8 this year) will see specially-designed editions of Apple's Watch Sport and Beats Solo2 headphones as part of the company's annual observation of the major shopping holiday. Buyers in mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia will be able to get the limited-edition items, which are also tied in with the Global Fund's PRODUCT (Red) campaign, meaning some proceeds will go to fight AIDS, HIV, and malaria in Africa and other countries.
Apple's operations in Singapore will be powered by renewable energy, following a deal with Sunseap Group. At the same time as revealing it was going to be the first company to in Singapore to run exclusively on renewable energy, sourced from solar energy farms built on top of more than 800 buildings, Apple confirmed it will be opening its first Apple Store within the city-state, though the final opening date remains unknown.
Apple is expanding the number of countries Apple Pay will operate within, via a partnership with a credit card company. Advised as part of today's earnings call, Apple Pay will be usable in Australia and Canada for American Express customers before the end of this year, with American Express users in Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong also expected to be able to use the payment service when it becomes available next year.
Following up on our previous story, the new Beats Pill+ Bluetooth speaker is now available for ordering. The device has changed little from before Apple bought the company, but gains a Lightning port for charging as well as an included cable. The $229 speaker can be paired with another to produce a stereo sound, and will soon have an accompanying app that allows a users and friends to control the music in a "house party" style. The unit still features a USB power-out port, a line-in audio port, and a battery boasting up to 12 hours of active use.
Netflix has revealed it is bringing its video streaming service to more countries in Asia in early 2016, following its launch in Japan last month. The service will be surfacing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea in the future, though Netflix has not offered a specific date for each country, but they will get a curated selection of popular TV shows and movies in HD and Ultra HD when it does go live.
Apple has upgraded the iCloud.com Photos app with a couple of new features, users note. The first is a zoom slider for uploaded content. People can also more easily share photos via email, using a new pop-up window on the site. Access to Photos requires activating the iCloud Photo Library beta through iOS' Settings app, and will remove any images on a device that were synced via iTunes.
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Apple's planned Lunar New Year sale has already begun in east Asia, carrying with it some rare discounts. Above all are price drops on the iPhone, something the company almost never does. In Hong Kong, the iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4S have all been marked down by HK$ 390, for example bringing the price of a 16GB 5s down to HK$ 5,198 ($670 US).
(Updated with start of sales in some countries) Apple has begun temporarily shuttering some of its online stores ahead of tomorrow's iPad Air launch. Pages for regions like Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the Netherlands are now offline. The storefronts should go back online sometime after midnight local time, when online orders for the Air will open.
Though the prices on the contract-free iPhone 5c and 5s will appear eye-poppingly high to Americans, the just-opened sales of the new iPhones at retail in the Far East are generating long lines for very limited stock -- a fact reflected at Apple's online stores, where the iPhone 5s in any configuration requires at least seven business days before delivery in most regions now.