Category Archives: Launch

Apple planning Apple Pay expansion into Canada as soon as March

Apple-Pay-Press-shot-02

Apple is preparing to expand its new Apple Pay payments service internationally with at least the Canadian launch currently scheduled for early 2015, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources say partners are currently in negotiations with Apple regarding the launch scheduled to come sometime in the first half of this year. Apple and Canadian launch partners are in the process of planning advertising and other promotional material for March, which indicates that the launch could come as soon as then. Of course, these are still active discussions and it’s possible the talks could fail to result in a launch by March. Several sources, however, tell us Apple is currently targeting that timeframe.

Apple first launched the service in the U.S. in October and has added new banks and card issuers to its list of supported partners almost weekly. Last month the company said it now supports cards that make up around 90% of US credit cards by transaction volume, and it’s already announced plans to support over 500 banks in the US.

Hints at an international expansion for Apple Pay first came last month when Apple posted job listings seeking individuals to help roll out the service in Europe, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Other reports pointed to expansion into the UK for the first half of this year. While US cards loaded into Apple Pay are confirmed to work abroad at supported NFC terminals, Apple has only officially launched the service in the US for both card issuers, banks and retailers accepting the payment service in stores and apps.

March also happens to be the timeframe currently scheduled for the launch of Apple Watch, Apple’s new wearable that is highly integrated with the payments service. Apple’s US webpage for the device says the Watch will launch early 2015, while other regions, including Canada, simply state “available in 2015.”

It’s possible Apple could launch the Watch in the U.S. in Q1 before rolling it out to other countries later in the year, but timing the Watch debut with the launch of Apple Pay abroad would certainly make a lot of sense.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Tagged: Apple, Apple pay, Canada, expansion, international, iPhone, launch, March, NFC, Q1

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Apple Watch launch expected in March, retail training set for mid-February

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Apple is finishing up work on the Apple Watch’s software, and sources familiar with the product’s development say that the device is currently on track to ship in the United States by the end of March. Apple previously said that the wearable product will ship in “early 2015,” while Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts got a bit more specific by telling employees that the launch will occur in the “spring,” after the Chinese New Year…

Several sources tell us that Apple is planning an extensive testing program to familiarize Apple Retail Store employees with the new product category. One or two representatives from many Apple Stores in the United States, depending on store and market size, will be sent to Apple offices in either Cupertino, California or Austin, Texas to learn first-hand about the Watch. These training programs will take place between February 9th and February 16th.

In the couple of days preceding the official Apple Watch release date, these employees will then train other employees in their respective stores. In the months following the device’s introduction in September, Apple has been polishing up the Watch OS and putting the device’s battery through more extensive testing. Apple has also been working overtime to improve the inductive charging mechanism necessary for charging up the device each night.

Of course, unexpected delays in software development and manufacturing could push the Watch back further in the year, but March is the current plan. The Apple Watch will come in three collections, standard, Sport, and Edition, and several distinct wristband designs will be sold. While Apple has only revealed pricing for the metal and glass sport model ($349), rumors indicate that Apple will price the stainless steel and sapphire crystal standard model around $500, while the gold version will be priced in the thousands of dollars range.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, category, Cupertino, Gold, launch, March, Sapphire, smartwatch, Stainless steel, testing, Training

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Report claims chip suppliers are preparing to ramp up Apple Watch production

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Apple has yet to provide a specific launch date for the Apple Watch, leaving its early 2015 timeframe and internal memo revealing a spring launch after Chinese New Year as the only information to go by in terms of a release date. A new report by Taiwan-based DigiTimes, however, suggests that the Apple Watch could launch sooner rather than later next year.

According to DigiTimes, which has a hit-and-miss track record at reporting on Apple’s future product plans, chipmakers in Apple’s overseas supply chain are reportedly gearing up to begin production of the Apple Watch. The report, citing industry sources, claims that between 30 to 40 million units of the upcoming wearable device have been ordered.

A previous supply chain rumor claimed that Apple supplier Quanta Computer would begin Apple Watch production in January 2015, possibly just in time for a Valentine’s Day release. While it was originally considered to be unlikely that the smartwatch would be ready in time for Valentine’s Day, the supply chain ramping up production this month makes a February launch more realistic.

French website iGen.fr reported last week that the steel Apple Watch will start at $500 alongside a gold model that will retail for between $4,000 and $5,000. Apple previously claimed at its September event that the Apple Watch would start at $349, which likely applies to the entry-level Apple Watch Sport, but did not disclose further pricing information.

The report also backed up the Valentine’s Day launch date for the Apple Watch.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, Chipmakers, launch, production, release date, Supply chain

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Spotify music streaming service finally launches in Canada

Spotify-albums-iOS-01Spotify announced today that it’s finally expanding into Canada giving Canucks access to the music streaming service that was previously available in the UK, US and a long list of other European and South American countries.

The official announcement comes from Spotify’s blog following a beta period in the country in which the company invited select users to sign-up and try out the service.

Canadians that download the Spotify app will be able to access the service’s usual “fully licensed free tier.” That includes the ability to “shuffle play on mobile or play any song on tablet or desktop,” but users can also pay $10 CAD per month for the unlimited, on-demand experience with the highest quality audio and no ads.

A full list of countries that Spotify is currently available in is here.


Filed under: Apps, iOS Tagged: app, availability, Canada, launch, Music, Spotify, streaming

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Spotify music streaming service finally launches in Canada

Spotify-albums-iOS-01Spotify announced today that it’s finally expanding into Canada giving Canucks access to the music streaming service that was previously available in the UK, US and a long list of other European and South American countries.

The official announcement comes from Spotify’s blog following a beta period in the country in which the company invited select users to sign-up and try out the service.

Canadians that download the Spotify app will be able to access the service’s usual “fully licensed free tier.” That includes the ability to “shuffle play on mobile or play any song on tablet or desktop,” but users can also pay $10 CAD per month for the unlimited, on-demand experience with the highest quality audio and no ads.

A full list of countries that Spotify is currently available in is here.


Filed under: Apps, iOS Tagged: app, availability, Canada, launch, Music, Spotify, streaming

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