iPhone discounts extremely rare
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).
Lines start forming around some retail outlets
(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.
Despite high pricing, online orders selling out rapidly
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.
Few launch units available worldwide
Although the phone has only just launched in the eastern hemisphere, the iPhone 5s is proving to be in extremely short supply, reports suggest. Online orders of the device have opened up in Australia and mainland China, but Apple is already listing the product as shipping in 7 to 10 business days in those regions, regardless of color or capacity. In Hong Kong and Singapore, the 5s is simply quoted as shipping in "October."
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.
Event set for January 25
Apple has formally announced this year's Lunar New Year sale throughout much of southeast Asia. The event, also known as "Red Friday," is scheduled for January 25, and will include discounts on Macs, iPads, iPods, and accessories, as well as free shipping. An official gift guide has been published to go with the event, but as usual Apple hasn't revealed what the exact discounts will be. Those should only be published on the 25th itself.
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.
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.
Set-top shows in fraction of new Asian iTunes regions
In tandem with an expansion of the iTunes Store, Apple is now selling the Apple TV in at least four more regions, checks show. These include Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Three of the new iTunes regions -- Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines -- don't have the set-top listed on their local Apple online stores.
Includes music, movies, iCloud services
Apple has announced that the iTunes Store is now available in 12 new regions in Asia. These include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Local visitors can now buy music from iTunes -- including local and international artists -- and either rent or buy movies, including titles from major studios like Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, and Warner Brothers.
Launch could be announced Wednesday
Apple is on the verge of announcing iTunes music, movies, and TV shows for several important Asian regions, sources say. An event is allegedly planned for tomorrow in Hong Kong; it may play host to musician Jason Mraz, as well as representatives from a number of Asian music labels. The labels are said to have been in talks with Apple as of last week, which may still be ongoing. New launch regions are believed to include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Planes previously used two tons of in-flight entertainment systems
Singapore-based airline Scoot Pte has switched to iPads for in-flight entertainment in order to save fuel, Bloomberg notes. The company's CEO, Campbell Wilson, claims that the move cut off about 7 percent of the weight from planes received from Scoot's parent company, Singapore Airlines. This is despite increasing seating in the planes by 40 percent.
Upgraded with Retina Display, quad-core A5X chip
Apple today announced the third-generation iPad at an event in San Francisco. The device's main feature is a 2048x1536 Retina Display, twice the resolution of the iPad 2, rated at 264 pixels per inch; existing apps will be upscaled automatically. Color saturation is said to be 44 percent higher. The tablet also makes the switch to a new dual-core but quad graphics processor, the A5X, which Apple says is built with the Retina Display in mind. Interface-wise the tablet has been improved with features like voice dictation.
Parallels Black Friday offerings in US
As promised, Apple has launched special Lunar New Year online sales in a handful of countries. These are notably similar to the company's Black Friday deals in the US, which were modest in scope. At the Hong Kong Apple Store, for instance, Apple is offering about 8 percent off Wi-Fi iPads, or 6 to 7 percent off 3G models.
Limited to handful of countries
Apple is running a special Lunar New Year promotion on Friday, January 6th, the company has announced. In China and Hong Kong, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines, people will be able to visit local Apple online stores for rare first-party discounts. As with the company's Black Friday sale, though, no prices are being advertised ahead of time.
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.
Supply shortages begin to hit home
iPad 2 sales have come to a halt at Apple's Singapore online store, checks show. All models, whether Wi-Fi or 3G, are now listed as "currently unavailable." There is no indication of when sales will resume, although it should still be possible to buy iPads through local retail vendors. No physical Apple Stores exist in the city.
Japanese debut previously postponed after quake
Asian launches of the iPad 2 were met with long lines on Thursday, reports say. The most significant of these may be in Japan, which was first slated to get the tablet on March 25th, but had the introduction delayed because of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the north on March 11th. By the time Apple Japan's flagship Ginza store opened at 9AM on Thursday, the iPad 2 lineup was reportedly three blocks long.
Regions yet to be identified
Apple will launch the iPad 2 in 13 more countries next week, according to COO Tim Cook. The executive made the statement during the company's fiscal Q2 results call, addressing the "mother of all backlogs" the tablet has been experiencing. More countries will get the device throughout the third quarter, says Cook.
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.
New competitors provide more data
M1 and StarHub will join SingTel in carrying the iPhone on December 9th, the first two companies have announced. M1 is offering four different plans, priced between $36 and $198 SGD ($25 to $142 US) per month. Paired with a two-year, $36 per month contract, a 16GB iPhone 3GS costs $518, while a 32GB model costs $658. Under the most expensive plan, any iPhone is free.
Japan's Softbank climbs on iPhone sales
Apple is persisting in efforts to expand iPhone sales before the end of 2009, reports note. Singapore is set to gain a third iPhone carrier in the form of StarHub, which will join competition with M1 and SingTel by the end of the year. Vodafone has announced a deal for Qatar, making it the first iPhone carrier in the Middle Eastern country. A local launch could slip into 2010.
New sales through M1
Local company M1 is set to become Singapore's second official iPhone carrier, according to an announcement. A deal is said to have recently been forged with Apple, though no details are yet available on phone prices or subscription rates. A launch should occur sometime before the end of 2009.
Singapore iPhone 3GS lines
The iPhone 3GS launch in Singapore has attracted huge crowds, with the first customer reportedly waiting in line for 11 hours. The exclusive local carrier, SingTel, estimates that approximately 1,500 to 2,000 individuals gathered around the company headquarters on Friday, according to Fortune. Several witnesses suggest the number was closer to 3,000 by the end of the night.
SingTel iPhone plans
Singaporean carrier SingTel has confirmed its pricing plans for the iPhone 3G, launching August 22nd. Customers looking to purchase the phone will be able to pick between seven different plans, which are broken down into two categories: iFlexi and SingTel. The iFlexi plans range from $56 to $205 a month, and come pre-bundled with data plans offering up to 3GB; the data options are, however, only available until September 5th. The SingTel plans range from $26 to $193 a month, but require people to add data separately, for instance through the BroadBand on Mobile Plus package which gives users 500MB of data a month for $20. Overage charges are $0.0019 per kilobyte, roughly equal to $2 per megabyte.
iPhone a go for Singapore
Confirming earlier reports, Singaporean carrier SingTel has announced that the iPhone 3G will ship to the city-state on August 22nd. The company does not so far have any pricing, whether for phones or subscriptions, but 8 and 16GB models will be available in black or white colors -- as in the United States -- and contact migration tips are now available, as is a reservation service. Apple has posted an official Singapore website with a guided tour.
Singapore iPhone launch
Singapore may be another one of the countries set to receive the iPhone 3G on August 22, according to a new report. Late in July Apple said that the iPhone 3G would be released in 20 more countries on August 22 and up to this point 17 countries have been confirmed. A SingTel spokesman has reiterated a statement, first made in June, that SingTel will bring the iPhone 3G to Singapore by the end of the year and the report claims that it has been "seriously looking at launching the iPhone at the end of August or early September." If true it would seem logical for SingTel to launch on August 22 along side other releases.
Indian iPhone in September
Reports indicate that an Indian iPhone could be just around the corner, allegedly available in September between Rs 27,200 and Rs 28,000. According to the Business Standard, Vodafone is expected to have the 8GB iPhone during the first week of September, with the 16GB version to surface in the middle of 2009. The news reportedly comes from Apple sources in Singapore, who only a few months ago was revealed as "tight lipped" until recently.
iPhone in Singapore?
The iPhone will launch in Singapore in September, according to unconfirmed reports. Local broadcaster Channel News Asia claims that a deal has been signed with Singapore Telecommunications, also known as SingTel; while Channel News cites industry sources, SingTel has declined to comment, and Apple has not made any announcements. Such a deal could make Singapore the first country in Asia to carry the iPhone, ahead of more prominent targets such as Japan, Thailand or even China. Singapore is a city-state, with approximately 4.6 million inhabitants.
Illegal Singapore iPhones
Apple has been cracking down on retailers selling illegally unlocked iPhones – the company's Danish branch last week threatened wireless retailer Telekæden about the same issue – and is currently targeting wireless distributors in Singapore. After sending emails that implied legal action would be taken against shops that did not comply, retailers began pulling the units from shelves. Reuters reports that Apple would charge the stores approximately $700 USD per unit sold illegally.