Apple Music officially launches in South Korea

It's taken longer than anticipated and Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has had to personally negotiate deals with local right holders and copyright associations, but Apple Music as of today is finally available to music lovers in South Korea. Launch in Samsung's home turf, home to 50 million people, comes hot on the heels of the service's debut in Israel yesterday.

Obstacles to launching Apple Music in Korea reportedly removed

Although Apple had previously attempted to roll out its subscription-based music-streaming service in Korea, the Cupertino firm ultimately failed to reach a consensus with local music copyright associations. But as of recently, Tim Cook & Co. have apparently managed to cut deals with local right holders and copyright associations.

As a result, the service could launch in South Korea, a 50 million people market, sooner than later, according to a news report today by The Korea Herald. No firm date for the launch was given at post time.

Korean watchdog orders Apple to change App Store refund policy

It used to be that in the past you could get updates for an iOS or Mac app after asking for a refund. However, Apple's relaxed policy concerning refunds and app updates has recently been tightened after the company updated the App Store's Terms of Service to prevent this.

Turns out this may not be the only change in store as South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has now ordered both Apple and Google to take action and revert their unfair no-refund app store policies...

Apple confirms January 10 ‘Red Friday’ sales event in major Asian markets

Apple has announced that it will be holding a one-day special sales event in a number of key Asian markets this coming Friday, January 10.

The promotion known as Red Friday is in celebration of the Lunar New Year, which refers to the beginning of the year in several calendars across Asia. The shopping event actually takes place three weeks before the Lunar New Year.

Red Friday is akin to Black Friday in the United States, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday of November) which unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the States.

And what surprises and discounts does Apple have in store for its customers in Asia? Read on for the full reveal...

Korean iPhone users drop privacy suit against Apple to pursue $25M case

Back in 2011 a group of 29 people took action against Apple, claiming that the iPhone-maker was illegally enabling location-based features without their consent (you remember locationgate, don't you?). Today, however, they've backed down after failing to provide sufficient evidence.

The group had been seeking 800,000 won (or $757 USD) per person, but will now turn their attention to a separate class-action privacy suit filed with a regional court, which involves claims from roughly 27,000 iPhone owners in the country and could be worth up to $25 million...

Samsung sues Apple over Notification Center in Korea

Samsung has reportedly filed a new lawsuit in its home country against Apple regarding its iOS Notification Center. It says that the feature, which Apple introduced last year in iOS 5, infringes on one of its active patents.

Of course, patent lawsuits have become commonplace between the two tech giants in recent years. Typically, however, Samsung has used its standards-essential, hardware-related IP to go after Apple. But this time it's software-related...

Apple sells more tablets in Korea than Samsung

Samsung and Apple have had sort of a war over the past couple of years. The war hasn't been only about patents, but the two companies have also competed very closely in smartphone and tablet sales.

Korea Herald now reports that the iPad is outselling Samsung tablets on the Korean company's home turf...