$4.5 billion tablet initiative at stake
A group of Apple executives including education VP John Couch met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül earlier today, according to reports. The two parties talked about several topics, such as the Turkish "F-keyboard" in iOS, which people have complained has some keys in bad positions. One of the main topics though was the government's $4.5 billion tablet program, which could see as many as 15 million tablets reach Turkish students.
Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia get video
Following some early premieres, Apple has officially opened access to the iTunes Music Store in 56 more countries. While the company isn't providing a full list, it does highlight Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. Of the new countries, only Russia, Turkey, India, and Indonesia are getting access to movie rentals and purchases as well.
Launches precede rumored Moscow event
(Updated with info on Russian iTunes Match, Lebanon) The iTunes Music Store has gone live in Russia and Turkey, users say. iOS screenshots show prices of about 15 rubles (49 cents) or 0.89 Turkish lira (50 cents) per track. In Turkey, an album should typically cost 9.99 lira, or about $5.59. Apple hasn't publicly announced the expansions.
Brazilian store reportedly coming to Rio de Janeiro
Apple is planning to open retail stores in Brazil and Turkey, official job listings show. In both countries Apple has put up listings for a full slate of retail workers, including managers, Geniuses, Creatives, Specialists, and other positions. The Turkish store is headed for the capital of Istanbul, while Apple has reportedly told Brazilian news sites that a shop is planned for Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil, Russia, South Africa among major regions
The iPhone 4S is now available in over 20 more countries, checks show. A list includes Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. The expansion coincides with expansions of the iTunes Store and iTunes Match.
Project would grant 15 million tablets to schools
Apple, Intel and Microsoft may bid to help supply up to 15 million tablets to Turkish schoolkids over a period of four years, according to the country's state-owned news agency, Anatolia. The outlet quotes Turkish trade minister Zafer Caglayan, who says that while visiting the US, Apple officials told him the company might also consider using Turkish manufacturers to build accessories such as covers and headphones for iPads and iPhones. To win the tablet contract, known as Fatih, a company must at least build the tablets within Turkey.
Apple ramps up international reach
The iPhone 4 should be launching in several more countries over the course of the next week. Three rollouts are scheduled for September 24th, when Israel will get the phone through Orange, Turkey through Turkcell and Vodafone, and Thailand via TrueMove. Although some 200,000 Thais are said to have pre-ordered, only 45,000 to 60,000 phones may actually be ready for launch day.
Turkish iPhone on Sept. 26
Though having confirmed in mid-August that it would carry the iPhone, Turkcell has only just announced that the phone is to launch in Turkey tomorrow, September 26th. Three pricing options are available with an 18-month contract: at a cost of 75 YTL per month, the small package includes a phone starting at 279 YTL, along with 150 minutes of voice and 150 text messages. Data use is listed as "unlimited," but in fact includes just 100MB of free data in the first month, a 3GB bundle costing extra. The first three months of the bundle are half-price.
Turkcell to offer iPhone
Turkcell, the largest GSM provider in Turkey, has announced that it will finally be offering the iPhone 3G later this year. No official release date has been published yet, but the carrier seems unlikely to join the second phase of the iPhone 3G rollout, as there are only four days left until worldwide expansion on August 22nd. The company has also yet to disclose official subscription plans, but these should become available before the iPhone's shipment. Turkcell will be the second carrier to offer the iPhone in Turkey, as Vodafone made a similar announcement earlier this year.