A new 32GB version of iPhone 6 in Gold has been quietly available at one online carrier in China since late February, and since March 10 prominently in Taiwan as the cheapest iPhone ever offered on the Taiwan Mobile network. As per a local blog, the 32GB “limited-edition” iPhone 6 in Space Gray will launch as soon as next week in Belarus—a 9.5 million people landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia, among other neighboring countries.
Sources say the phone will go on sale via i-Store, priced at the equivalent of $522 (999 Belarusian rubles). For context, i-Store is an Apple Premium Reseller located in Minsk, the country’s capital and the most populous city with 2+ million people.
Kantar Worldpanel previously said that iOS achieved its strongest growth and the highest market share in the United States in more than two years. In its latest survey, the market intelligence company found out that iPhone’s share of the U.S. smartphone market grew 6.4 percent year-on-year in the three months ending in November 2016.
iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the country’s three most popular smartphones during November, with the handsets taking share from Google’s Android platform in most markets globally.
French tax authorities have recently issued Apple a fine in the amount of 400 million euros (about $422 million), according to L’Express. At the core of the adjustment is Apple’s complex and controversial tax optimization scheme that allows the firm to send back the lion share of its profits to tax-friendly countries such as Ireland.
In February of last year, the Cupertino firm announced that it will be spending to the tune of two billion dollars on the construction of two huge data centers in Ireland and Denmark that will make iCloud and other services more performant and reliable for European customers. As per The Copenhagen Post, the Denmark facility is located in Foulum.
Foulum is a small town located just outside of Viborg, a city in central Jutland that is home to Aarhus University and agricultural research facilities. Additionally, the iPhone maker reportedly signed a multi-year clean energy deal with Aarhus University on a new biogas research and development project.
Apple hid a nice Easter egg surprise on its website for fans of soccer who are currently following the 2016 UEFA European Championship. Apple websites in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe now sport an updated Choose Your Country selector with Euro 2016 country groups and schedules.
As reported on by Dutch blog iCulture, the Cupertino firm even temporarily added a few new countries that it does not have regional websites for—like Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Ukraine and Wales—to ensure that the groups and bracket are filled out properly.
Earlier in the week, Apple Pay launched fully in Singapore with five major local banks on board, marking the sixth country where the company’s service is currently accepted as a form of payment.
But that’s just the beginning as Apple’s ultimate goal is to roll out the service to “every significant market” in which the company operates, according to Jennifer Bailey, who was former Netscape executive and now serves as Vice President of Apple Pay.
Apple hasn’t refreshed the beautiful Thunderbolt Display since its July 2011 debut. That could change soon, however, as shipping times for the Thunderbolt Display have risen sharply across its European stores.
As first noted by German blog Macerkopf.de, customers in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, the United Kingdom and other major markets in Europe are now faced with an eight-day delay when ordering a Thunderbolt Display.
Making good on rumors that have been bouncing around for several months, the European Union officially filed anti-trust charges against Google on Wednesday. The Commission will formally investigate whether the tech firm has abused its dominance in search results, as well as within its Android operating system.
In the near term this doesn’t mean much—there will be a lengthy investigation and likely a trial. But in the long term, if Google were to be found guilty, it could face a fine of up to $6 billion (10% of its annual revenue) and various business-altering restrictions. Many pundits are comparing it to Microsoft in the late 90’s.
Users looking to abuse Apple’s new 14-day return policy for digital purchases in Europe will be in for a bad surprise, as the company has apparently been taking measures against those that want to dishonestly take advantage of the system.
According to one account from a user who had been abusing the return policy by downloading a dozen apps and requesting refunds after “trialing” them, Apple quickly caught up to the scheme and is now warning him he won’t be eligible for refunds for newly purchased applications.
Spotify seems to have surpassed iTunes in Europe where royalty payments from the popular streaming-music service is now earning artists more revenue than Apple’s stagnant music store, which to this date continues to sell music downloads and does not offer all-you-can-eat subscriptions.
At least that’s the key takeaway from a survey conducted by Kobalt Music Publishing, which collects royalties on behalf of 6,000 songwriters and music makers in Europe.
According to the data cited Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, Spotify in Europe brought artists an average of thirteen percent more revenue versus iTunes during the first quarter of 2014.
The data seems to corroborate recent findings by the Recording Industry Association of America which found that digital music sales on iTunes dropped between thirteen and fourteen percent globally since the start of this year, with Apple officially confirming the drop in its SEC filing.
Apple has hired Mary Carol Harris, former Director of Mobile at Visa Europe to help bring the NFC-based Apple Pay mobile payments system to Europe, PaymentEye reported Monday.
She’s been with Visa since 2008 and previously headed up NFC at Telefónica, Spain’s leading multinational by market cap and one of the largest private telecommunications company in the world.
Introduced alongside new iPhones earlier this month, Apple’s mobile payments solution is scheduled to debut in the United States on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in October, and on the Apple Watch early next year, extending the service to over 200 million owners of the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s devices worldwide.
Harris has fourteen year experience in digital and mobile payments, including NFC technology utilized by the Apple Pay. Harris’s LinkedIn profile lists her an employee of Apple Europe.
Apple today released a plethora of freshly-updated stats and pretty charts that paint a rosy picture of the company’s positive contributions to the European job market and the continents’s economy as a whole.
The so-called app economy is now sustaining half a million jobs across Europe, with a total of 629,000 jobs created or supported by Apple in Europe. Apple paid out $6.5 billion to European app developers so far, representing nearly out-third of the $20 billion the company paid to developers globally.
I’ve include additional stats and key charts right after the break…