As noted on Apple’s website, the Apple Pay mobile payment service is now available to customers in Taiwan. Financial institutions supporting the service include Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E. Sun Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank and Union Bank of Taiwan.
Apple Pay has officially expanded to Ireland today for customers of KBC and Ulster Bank, two of the country’s big four banking institutions. The service also works with EU’s Boon prepay system tied to MasterCard. Irish customers who register their Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards via the Wallet app can start using the service to pay securely for goods in “tens of thousands” of stores, including Aldi, Boots, Burger King, Harvey Norman and Lidl.
Apple Pay is also supported in compatible apps and on some websites. The Cupertino company has added related Apple Pay details to its regional website in Italy, signaling an imminent launch in the 60 million people market. Also, major banks have recently gained regulatory approval to launch Apple’s payments service in Taiwan.
Taiwan Mobile announced Thursday that it’s relaunching Apple’s discontinued iPhone 6. The Taiwanese wireless carrier has begun taking pre-orders for the 32-gigabyte version of iPhone 6, but it’s only available in Gold. The handset will go on sale on March 10. Last month, Apple relaunched 32-gigabyte editions of iPhone 6 in China, priced at 3,900 yuan unlocked, or approximately $567.
The iPhone 6 lineup was discontinued last September, when iPhone 7 launched and iPhone 6’s spot as the entry-level iPhone has since been taken by iPhone SE.
In 2017, the iPhone should undergo a top-to-bottom industrial design overhaul with a number of hardware improvements planned for the handset, such as a wraparound AMOLED display curved at both sides like that on Samsung’s Note 7 and the Galaxy S6/S7 range, as well as an all-new glass enclosure.
According to a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report cited by DigiTimes, Taiwanese suppliers are now ordering machinery for the production of curved glass chassis for next year’s iPhone lineup. The glass casing should help differentiate the Tenth Anniversary iPhone, as the media affectionally calls the device, and give Apple fans more reasons to upgrade.
Taiwanese pop singer, actor and race car driver Jimmy Lin is certainly no stranger to publicity stunts involving Apple leaks. In September 2012, for instance, Chinese social media lit up as he posted photos of himself using a then-unreleased iPhone 5.
Now, the attention-seeking star is back at it: he appears to have been photographed while using a dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus handset in Rose Gold.
Following initial launch of iTunes carrier billing in Russia with Telefonica’s O2 and in Germany with VimpelCom’s Beeline unit nearly a year ago, Apple has now brought this alternative option to customers in Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland, according to reports from CNBC and Mashable.
Carrier billing lets customers without access to credit or gift cards have their app and media purchases charged directly to their monthly mobile phone bill or deducted from their prepaid amount.
Apple has confirmed to Reuters plans to open its first-ever retail store in Taiwan, where most of its suppliers and contract fabricators are located. The Cupertino company stopped short of revealing the exact location for the store, but speculation mounts that it will presumably be found in the capital of Taipei.
A late evening report from Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan has shed a bit of light on Apple’s plans regarding the future of its display technology for iPhones, iPads, and other devices. Culpan’s report shows that Apple has opened a secret lab within a Taiwanese science park, and has no less than 50 engineers working on advanced versions of LCD and OLED display technology.
Apple’s goal, according to the report, is to create screens that are thinner, lighter, brighter, and more energy-efficient than the screen technology used in current production iPhones and iPads. The report emphasized Apple’s keen interest in OLED technology in particular, since it requires no backlight, a fact that can help meet the improvements in energy efficiency and thinness that the Cupertino firm is seeking.
Though designed in California, the vast majority of Apple’s products are being assembled in China using parts predominantly provided by the vast network of suppliers from Taiwan.
But that may be changing now as Japanese manufacturers are reportedly making a concerted effort to secure more iPhone orders from Apple, according to DigiTimes on Monday.
Citing industry sources, the trade publication claims that Japan-based printed circuit board manufacturer Ibiden has bolstered up its manufacturing capacity as it hopes to solicit more orders from Apple.
After shipping a record-smashing 74.5 million handsets during the holiday quarter, representing more than half of Apple’s total revenue for the quarter, the Cupertino firm could be poised to move about 50 million iPhone units in the first quarter of this year.
Tuesday, trade publication DigiTimes cited estimates by Taiwanese handset suppliers who expect shipments of iPhone devices to grow from the 43.7 million units in the year-ago quarter to as many as 50 million shipments in Q1 2015, a 14.4 percent annual increase.