By Cody Lee on Feb 28, 2014
Earlier this month it was reported that Apple was getting sued for over $2 billion by known patent troll IPCom. The german company alleged that the iPad-maker violated one of its patents pertaining to priority access to channels for emergency responder.
But it doesn’t look like the suit will ever make it to trial. FOSS Patents is reporting that in a string of rulings handed down by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany today, two of IPCom’s suits against Apple and one against HTC have been dismissed… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2014
Following a flurry of reports which criticized various security holes allowing hackers to break into people’s Apple ID accounts, Apple in March of 2013 finally stepped up account security by rolling out two-step verification for Apple IDs in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
Two months later, the feature launched in nearly a dozen additional countries: Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland and Russia.
And now, as part of the third wave of expansion, the firm is enabling stronger account security for Apple ID users located in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2013
Google issued a major mid-August update to its free Search app for the iPhone and iPad with new Google Now cards for flights, reservations, package delivery information and more.
And last month, the firm followed up with another sweet update that implemented ‘OK Google’ hands-free voice control functionality, support for single sign-on, reminders, alerts for delayed flights and upcoming appointments/events and other perks.
This afternoon, the Internet giant pushed a minor update which expands international support to three new languages: French, German and Japanese… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 4, 2013
During its October iPad event, Apple confirmed that its redesigned Mac Pro would be available in December, but it wouldn’t get any more specific than that. The month has already started, so technically, we could see it any day now.
But according to German retailer Conrad Electronic, we still have about two weeks before we see the highly anticipated desktop. Conrad has begun taking pre-orders for the computer, and says it’s officially launching on December 16… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2013
The rumors were true: Apple launching its iPhone trade-in program in the United States in late-August, the company on Monday officially announced that customers visiting its retail stores across the United Kingdom can bring in their previous-generation iPhone for reuse or recycling and receive a credit that can be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone. More details right after the fold… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2013
After a German appeals court a month ago lifted the injunction which prevented Apple from offering push notifications for its iCloud email service, owners of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the country can finally again enjoy push notifications for incoming iCloud email messages. The feature has been disabled for German users for about 19 months after it had to be shut down following a legal wrangling with Motorola over patents. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2013
Although Apple has updated its Apple TV box a few times this year, making it much more useful by enabling a bunch of additional channels, most of the premium content sources are limited to users in the United States due to licensing restrictions. A good example is Netflix, which just rolled out crisp Super HD video streaming that’s unfortunately of little use to the folks living outside the 41 Netflix-supported markets around the globe.
It’s not just paid streaming services: some of the most popular free channels come region-restricted as well. Take Vevo, for example, which got added to the $99 streamer late-August but did not work in all regions. In a sign that Eddy Cue and his team have been able to negotiate a better deal, Apple TV users in Germany are now reporting sightings of both Vevo and NHL channels on their device… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 6, 2013
Next week, Apple is expected to break its year-long product silence by unveiling not one, but two new iPhones. This will be the first time that the company has introduced two handsets simultaneously, leaving many wondering what it’ll do with its legacy smartphones.
Pundits seem fairly split on the topic, but the recent consensus seems to be that the iPhone 5C will replace both the iPhone 4 and 4S, as well as the iPhone 5—leaving Apple with just two phones in its lineup. A new report, however, suggests the 5 may be sticking around… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2013
A German appeals court has finally decided to lift the injunction that has prevented Apple from offering push notifications for its iCloud email service in the country. The feature has been disabled for German users since February 2012—so about 18 months.
The injunction spawned from a lawsuit by Motorola Mobility, which as we all know is now owned by Google. The company claims that Apple’s iCloud push notification feature infringes upon its patents, and is seeking both a permanent ban and punitive damages… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jul 9, 2013
It’s a common practice now under fire from Germany’s finance chief: giving corporations tax breaks to locate and develop their patents – and hopefully hire local workers. In a Europe struggling with widespread economic troubles, the tactic known as the ‘patent box’ should stop, Germany asked a gathering of European Union finance ministers.
At the heart of the dispute between Germany and other European countries are reports Apple and others multinationals used local tax laws to save money… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2013
The latest in Apple warranty shenanigans in Europe: caving in to pressure from a number of the European Union member states, the company has now updated its warranty policy in Belgium, giving all buyers two-year warranty as standard.
Remember, Apple’s insistence on upselling European customers to its paid AppleCare extended coverage has failed to impress authorities in Europe, where two-year warranty is required by law.
In Italy, for example, Apple was fined $264,000 in Italy over offering only a single year of warranty as standard… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 22, 2013
Although Apple has long offered PayPal as a payment option in the United States for both digital consumer sales on iTunes and volume software purchases by education customers, the firm never instituted paying for online store purchases using PayPal.
That’s ostensibly changing now as users in Germany now report being able to complete purchases on their localized online Apple Store using their PayPal account.
It remains unclear why exactly Apple enabled the feature in Germany (could be part of the broader Apple Store changes), but the move could signal a staggered worldwide roll-out… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 7, 2013
While Apple has been praised for its security efforts in iOS, it does not get the same applause for its privacy policies. The company is currently involved in a US-based lawsuit over its information-sharing practices, and today, a German court ruled against it.
This morning, the Berlin Regional Court in Germany ruled that Apple’s sharing of customer data violates its privacy laws. It said that Apple cannot request “global consent” for use of a customer’s data without telling them where and how the data will be used… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 5, 2013
A German court ruled invalid Apple’s patent for a sliding touchscreen unlocking image, marking another win for allies of Google’s Android mobile operating. In its ruling in favor of the Google-owned Motorola, the country’s Federal Patent Court slammed the iPhone maker’s slide-to-unlock patent as devoid of “technological innovation.” Still, a long-running patent dispute which began in 2011 may still live on as Apple’s legal team prepares for a round of appeals, according to Friday reports… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 25, 2013
A court in Germany has ruled that Apple’s iPhone infringes upon Samsung’s patents related to 3G wireless technology and has issued an order to stay a German Samsung v. Apple lawsuit. Patent blogger Florian Müeller who follows tech litigation explains that the case will be adjudicated only after the validity of this patent. Apple, of course, is challenging the validity of Samsung’s patent, but that will likely take years to resolve… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 11, 2013
Apple today added a brand new streaming option for Apple TV owners in Germany, the new Watchever video service. No firmware update is needed: the service appears as a new app on the user’s home screen. Watchever just launched in the country yesterday as the first premium, monthly fee-based video-on-demand provider. The Vivendi-owned streaming service requires a monthly subscription of €8.99, or about ten bucks.
And just like Netflix over in the United States, it provides access to television shows and movies on a number of compatible devices. It is only available on Apple TVs in Germany, indicating Eddy Cue & Co. are now pushing deals with local content owners outside the United States… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 11, 2013
Apple TV owners in Germany are in for a little surprise the next time they boot up their set top boxes. It appears that Apple has added a new app to the home screen for Watchever, a new video subscription service.
Similar to Netflix, Watchever gives users unlimited access to local, European and international movies and TV shows for €8.99 a month (or about $12 USD). And now, German users can access it on their ATVs… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2013
In an effort to minimize the impact of last year’s ruling by a Dusseldorf court which issued an EU-wide ban on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet over Apple’s design patents pertaining to the iPad, Samsung thinks it’s found a nice way to weasel its way out of this mess. And
Samsung’s answer to this is simple, really: instead of fighting Apple’s re-asserted claim that its Galaxy tablets “slavishly” copy the iPad, Samsung figured it could delay the lawsuits in Germany by filing an invalidity bid in in another country, Spain. As a result, the German suits over the design of the products are scheduled to be put on hold until the process in Spain is completed. If all venues are used, the process can take as long as four years… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Dec 17, 2012
The UK continues to be Apple’s European fortress against the invading hordes of Android smartphones. That’s the word from Internet firm comScore, which announced Monday most European cell phone owners have adopted smartphones. In the United Kingdom, Apple is holding onto a slim 4 point-lead.
Meanwhile, South Korea-based Samsung experiences double-digit growth. Germany is the only European nation where smartphone penetration has not reached at least 50 percent. In the UK and Spain, two countries where consumers have largely abandoned landlines, smartphone adoption is at 62.3 percent and 63.2 percent, respectively.
But the real story could be the tight race between Apple and Samsung, fueled by Android’s growing presence in Europe… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 16, 2012
I read an interesting article the other day by Evan Wiener on why Apple dropped Google from Maps in iOS 6. Wiener suggested that Google was withholding features, like voice-guided navigation, as a negotiation tactic to get Apple to agree with deeper Google integration, and Apple finally said enough’s enough.
The well-connected John Gruber confirms that he’s heard a similar story from numerous sources — more specifically, that Google was wanting to collect user data for serving up targeted ads, and Apple said no. And wouldn’t you know it, it seems Google’s trying to do the same thing in its new Maps app… Read More