Category Archives: china

iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China

Maps Transit

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

In the United States, the planned launch cities are San Francisco and New York, two major metropolitan areas that are known for public transportation, while Toronto will be likely Canada’s sole representative for the iOS 9 Maps Transit feature at launch. In Europe, Apple is said to be gearing up to first launch the feature in London, Paris, and Berlin.

While Apple has accumulated its own data for North America and Europe, Apple is working with longtime partner AutoNavi to source transit data for China. Pre-existing agreements currently prohibit Apple from collecting its own transit maps data in China, according to a source, and Apple already utilizes AutoNavi data for pre-existing Maps features for iPhones in China.

While these are the planned cities for this fall’s iOS 9 launch, Apple is already working on its next round of cities. Apple considers Boston, Massachusetts and Tokyo, Japan as its next two priority cities after the initial launch, but Tokyo support may be farther out due to the region’s expansive transit service offerings. Los Angeles, pictured in our mockup above from last year, is low on Apple’s transit priority list, the sources added.

As we noted in our original article on the transit feature for iOS 9 Maps, Apple has developed the ability to dynamically add more cities to the Maps app over-the-air, not requiring a full iOS software update. Apple will also be able to notify users via a push notification as support is added in their current city of residence, we noted in our previous report. Apple does not yet notify users of new geographical support for features.

Apple currently plans to unveil its Maps Transit features at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address on Monday, June 8th. Besides this new Maps tentpole feature, Apple plans to introduce a new systemwide typeface called San Francisco, a Home app for controlling approved HomeKit devices, several security and optimization upgrades, enhancements to the Messages and Health apps, iPad split-screen apps, and a new built-in keyboard.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Alibaba, Apple Maps, AutoNavi, Berlin, china, directions, Google Maps, iOS 9, list, London, Maps app, Paris, Tentpole, Toronto, Transit

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Apple gets closer to opening up its first store in Belgium

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New Brussels shopping complex La Toison d’Or

Apple is getting closer to taking its retail stores to a new market: Belgium. According to sources within Apple retail, Apple today sent out a memo announcing the new market. The note also was sent to gauge interest from employees who may be inclined to relocate to Belgium to assist with opening up the new location…

When Apple enters new markets, the company frequently seeks employees from the United States and other established markets to temporarily assist with new store launches. Indicating that an opening will occur in the not to distant future, Apple asks interested employees to respond to the note by the end of this month. In addition to reaching out to employees, Apple today posted several job listings for a new Brussels, Belgium store on its website:

Screenshot 2015-05-20 15.03.07

This is the second time that Apple has posted Belgium store job listings on its website, with the first set coming late last year. Interestingly, in line with the timing of today’s listings, Apple actually confirmed for the first time to Belgium-based website DeStandaard that an Apple Store will becoming to Belgium. “We look forward to bringing the unique Apple retail experience to our customers in Belgium,” Apple said without sharing addition information about the store. Earlier today, a now-retracted Tweet indicated that Apple Pay could, too, make its way to Belgium this year.

While Apple has remained mum on details as to the exact location of the store in Belgium, it is believed to be located at the new Le Toison d’Or mall on Gulden-Vlieslaan in Brussels. Sources in the United Kingdom indicate that select employees will be relocating to to the United Arab Emirates late this summer to assist with store openings in that new region as well. Tim Cook noted in his meeting with employees in China that Apple is on track to open up 40 stores within China by next year, which Cook says is one of retail chief Angela Ahrendts’s top current priorities.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Store, Apple watch, Belgium, Brussels, china, Distributors, iPad, iPhone, iPod, New region, uae, UK, United States

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Tim Cook: Apple Watch in stores ‘by June’, in talks for Apple Pay in China

tim-cook-china-tour-05

During his trip last week across China, Apple CEO Tim Cook held a meeting at Apple’s China headquarters with several employees in attendance, according to sources with knowledge of the briefing. Cook reportedly reiterated several recent China-focused announcements, including the new forest-focused environmental initiatives and improvements for education, but he also mentioned some new tidbits regarding the upcoming retail launch for the Apple Watch and the rollout of Apple Pay for China…

Regarding the Apple Watch, Cook began by telling the employees that “the Watch could not be going better, we’re working really hard on making more.” Cook joked that Apple wishes it had more operations staff and engineers to make the launch go even smoother, according to the sources. Notably, Cook promised that Apple Stores will begin carrying Apple Watch stock “by June.” This indicates that comments from Angela Ahrendts in April are still on track. For the first time, Cook also confirmed that the upcoming June in-store launch will include the company’s stores in China.

Multiple employees in attendance reportedly also asked Cook about Apple Pay’s rollout in China. Cook revealed that part of the reason for his visit to China alongside Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue was to meet with potential China Apple Pay partners. “I think we’ve made progress [on Apple Pay for China]”, Cook said. He added that “there’s different people and different banks involved,” but he is hoping that the launch will occur “soon.” Cook reportedly noted that while the partners are all new in China, the functionality and feature set of Apple Pay would match the United States’s implementation.

Cook also was asked if he believes that China will surpass the U.S. as the region that brings in the most revenue for Apple. “I do think that China will surpass the U.S., it’s just a matter of time,” Cook said. He added that “it’s very difficult to predict when exactly it will occur, but if we do our jobs right, it will occur.” Cook noted that Apple already sells most of its iPhones and iPads (as of last quarter) in China, but the larger Mac and iTunes content/services sales in the U.S. is keeping the U.S. on top of China for the time being. Perhaps the upcoming addition of Apple Pay in China will help push China over the top in the near-future.

While on his trip to China, Cook opened up a Weibo social network account, and he told employees that Steve Dowling, the recently promoted Vice President of Communications at Apple, came up with the idea. Cook noted that he won’t be on Weibo daily, but he still feels that it is important to use Twitter and Weibo as a way to make Apple announcements without a press release. He said that while Tweets are not always formal, they can still be as important as a press release. Cook previously shared photos from his trip on Weibo and held local Chinese media interviews regarding the company’s new environmental initiatives, Apple Pay, and competitor Xiaomi.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch Tagged: Apple, Apple pay, Apple Pay China, Apple watch, Apple Watch retail, china, Eddy Cue, Tim Cook

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Apple CEO Tim Cook shares photos from recent trip to China (Gallery)

Tim-Cook-China-tour-01

Tim Cook has shared photos from his recent trip to China where the Apple CEO spoke to media about upcoming initiatives in the country and visited new Apple retail stores opened in the region. The photos (above and below) were posted to Cook’s new Weibo account. The head Apple exec started posting to the Chinese microblogging site, much like he does on Twitter, earlier this month.

Cook spent much of his trip discussing new environmental initiatives announced by the company this month. Apple announced plans for responsibly managed forests in the country through a partnership with World Wildlife Fund, as well as new solar operations to help power manufacturing.

Other big topics of conversation during Cook’s China trip: The CEO stressed that the company “very much wants to get Apple Pay in China”— it has has reportedly been in talks with Chinese retailer Alibaba regarding the payments platform— in addition to touching on growth in the country and recently passing Xiaomi in the Chinese smartphone market.

The pictures above and below come from Tim’s tour of Apple Stores mostly, including the Xidan Joy City store, the West Lake store in Hangzhou, the Nanjing East Road location, as well as a trip to visit students at the Communication University of China Primary School:

Tim-Cook-China-tour-02 Tim-Cook-China-tour-03 Tim-Cook-China-tour-04 Tim-Cook-China-tour-05 Tim-Cook-China-tour-01
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, CEO, china, Communication University of China Primary School, hangzhou, media tour, Nanjing East Road, photos, Tim Cook, weibo, West Lake store, Xidan Joy City

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A bunch of iPhones and Macs are about to become ‘obsolete’ in June, losing Apple repair support

No-repair-for-you-obsolete-iPhone-Mac

Apple is about to sunset support for a number of iPhones, Macs, and other products as it plans to switch several models to “Obsolete” or “Vintage” status in June, according to internal documents.

When a device receives Obsolete status from Apple — Vintage status only applies to California and Turkey, where the company is required to continue offering support — it no longer offers service or repair support through its own Apple retail stores or authorized service providers. It typically begins the process for models 5-7 years after manufacturing has been discontinued and maintains a list on its website here.

iPhone models that are about to get the boot include the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G (China), iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3GS (China), all of which become obsolete in Asia-Pacific/Canada/EU/Japan/Latin America and all Apple Retail Stores. These models are also “Vintage” status where applicable in the US.

In addition, the original iPhone loses its vintage status in the US after Apple first made the device obsolete in most countries back in 2013.

A number of Macs are also switching to obsolete status in June, including: MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid-2009), iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007), and iMac (24-inch, Mid 2007). These will no longer be supported for repair or service in AP/CN/EU/JP/LA/U.S. and all Apple Retail Stores. In addition, a few products lose their vintage status after previously becoming obsolete outside of the US, including MacBook Pro (17-inch, 2.4GHZ), MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.4/2.2GHZ), AirPort Express Base Station, Xserve (Late 2006), and Xserve RAID (SFP, Late 2004).

All of the products above will officially move to their new status on June 9, 2015, and no longer be supported for repair by Apple Stores or authorized resellers, but Apple continues to offer support by phone for AppleCare customers. 

Here’s the full list:

iPhone (Obsolete in AP/CN/EU/JP/LA and Apple Retail stores, vintage in U.S.)

  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3G (China)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 3GS (China)

iPhone (Obsolete in AP/CN/EU/JP/LA/U.S. and Apple Retail stores)

  • Original iPhone

Macs (Obsolete in AP/CN/EU/JP/LA/U.S. and Apple Retail stores)

  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid-2009)
  • iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007)
  • iMac (24-inch, Mid 2007)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.4/2.2GHZ)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, 2.4GHZ)

Other:

  • AirPort Express Base Station
  • Xserve (Late 2006)
  • Xserve RAID (SFP, Late 2004)

Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, Mac Tagged: 3G, 3gs, china, iPhone, iPhones, Mac, Macs, Obsolete, original iPhone, repair, support, vintage

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