Switches to Apple Store gift cards for bonuses
Apple has launched the Australia and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School promotion. Qualifying university students, parents, and educational staff are being given gift cards matched to the device they buy; unlike last year, though, the cards are for the Apple Store, rather than for the Mac or iOS App Store. A similar change was made last year for the American Back to School promo.
Amount still more than double paid in 2013
Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 million Apple paid in 2013, when it actually took in more revenue, A$6.1 billion.
Company is one of many under investigation for aggressive-but-legal tax avoidance
Apple paid more than twice as much in taxes in Australia for 2014 as it did in 2013, but still managed to grow profits in the country -- despite increasing scrutiny about its legal but aggressive tax avoidance techniques. According to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Apple paid AU$80.4 million in taxes for 2014 ($64 million US) compared to just AU$36.4 million (roughly $32 million US at the time) in 2013.
Photos web app gets zoom, quick email sharing
Apple has upgraded the iCloud.com Photos app with a couple of new features, users note. The first is a zoom slider for uploaded content. People can also more easily share photos via email, using a new pop-up window on the site. Access to Photos requires activating the iCloud Photo Library beta through iOS' Settings app, and will remove any images on a device that were synced via iTunes.
Term is essentially ruled too generic due to popularity of concept
On Wednesday in Sydney, Australia, a court ruled against Apple in an appeal by the iPhone maker to overturn a previous ruling that denied the company a trademark on the term "app store," despite the fact that Apple had clearly invented the term back in 2008. The fundamental problem Apple has had in trying to secure a trademark on the term is two-fold: the word "app" as short for "application" had been coined far earlier by others, and the burgeoning popularity of the phrase almost from the get-go has turned it into a generic description.
Netflix launching video streaming service in Australia, New Zealand from March
Netflix is planning to expand its service to Australia and New Zealand from early next year. Starting from March 2015, the streaming video service will be available in the two countries, complete with 4K video playback with compatible devices, though The Next Web notes the inclusion of "a curated selection" in the announcement points to a more limited TV show and movie collection at launch than in other territories.
Company working on improving appeal of service to clients
The iAd network is now available in another 70 countries, bringing the total up to 95, according to an Apple announcement to developers. The company hasn't identified which regions are new except for Australia, but says the remainder are spread across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The change should increase the potential reach of existing iAd campaigns and enable new ones.
Devices must also be set to US region
Even though Apple Pay -- launched yesterday with iOS 8.1 -- is nominally supposed to be US-only at the moment, it's already working overseas, anecdotes indicate. In particular, the service is functional in Australia, as long as a person is using both US credit cards and region settings on their iPhone. The region toggle is needed to make Apple Pay show as an option.
New Zealanders must wait an extra week for first shipments
While buyers in North America must wait until tomorrow for the launch of Apple's new iPhone 6 lineup, Australia -- by dint of being on the other side of the international date line -- becomes the first country in the world to launch the new iPhones. A MacNN staffer visiting the Penrith Apple Store in New South Wales near Sydney has reported a "massive" lineup, consisting of hundreds of buyers outside the store.
Priced at A$129 each, service fees vary per device
As anticipated, Apple has introduced AppleCare+ plans to Australia. Separate plans cover the iPhone, iPad, and iPods. Each plan is priced at A$129, but has different service fees for accidental damage. The iPhone fee is A$99, whereas it's just A$65 for an iPad. iPods are subject to a A$45 fee.
Could be harbinger of expansion to other countries
AppleCare+ plans should be on sale in Australia in the next few weeks, a source says. Apple Store workers are expected to start sales training within days. Unlike regular AppleCare plans, AppleCare+ options include reduced fees for fixing accidental damage to iPhones and iPads. It's not clear what those fees might be in Australia, nor what the overall plans will cost.
Program could reach Australia as soon as this week
Apple's official iPhone trade-in program has been expanded into Italy, reports say. While the company's local retail webpages have yet to make reference, the program is being advertised within the Apple Store iPhone app. During a trade-in, people can use an older iPhone -- going as far back as the 3G -- as credit toward the purchase of any current model.
Suspects caught withdrawing victims' money from ATM
Russian government officials say they have arrested two people accused of hijacking Apple devices in Australia and demanding ransom money. The scheme was reportedly lead by a 23-year-old man identified only as Ivan; an unnamed 17-year-old is said to have been his accomplice. Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs states that both are from Moscow, and were arrested during "operational activities" conducted by the Interior Ministry. One of them has already been tried in the past.
Raises minimum pay to $22.45 AUD
Apple retail workers and Apple Australia have come to an agreement on a new four-year employment contract, reports say. Under new terms set to take effect November 1st, entry-level pay will rise to $22.45 AUD ($20.95 US) an hour, while annual pay increases will be capped at 2 percent. The contract also restructures the hierarchy of Australian Apple Stores, defining specific responsibilities. Level 1 workers are those assigned to tasks like helping customers and doing repairs; Level 2 belongs mostly to supervisors, while Level 3 involves managerial positions like Business Leader, Store Leader, or Market Leader.
Owners with passcodes may be safe
A number of Australians are finding their iPhones, iPads, and/or Macs locked and held for ransom by one or more hackers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald and Apple's support forums. Victims are getting Find My Mac/iPhone notifications saying their devices have been hacked, and asking for a certain amount of money to be sent to a PayPal account before the hacker(s) will unlock them. A recurring name used in the attacks is "Oleg Pliss," but that's believed to be an alias.
Trouble may also be affecting iMessage
iCloud users in Australia and New Zealand have been experiencing outages for about half a day, according to complaints. Most affected people say they can't reach any iCloud functions, and some people complain that iMessage is failing as well. Apple's System Status page has made no mention of the downtime.
Newegg opens up store to UK, Australia with international shipping
Confirming rumors from the end of March, electronics retailer Newegg is expanding its reach from its existing online stores in the United States, Canada, and China into more international markets. In a pilot program, customers located in the United Kingdom and Australia will be able to order a limited range of items from the US store for dispatch to either country.
Prices dip in Israel, New Zealand
Apple is raising iOS and Mac App Store prices in several countries, according to an email memo sent to developers. The hikes will impact Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa. Apple blames the change on fluctuations in exchange rates, which the company adjusts for on a regular basis.
PayPal enables Pay at Table, Order Ahead in UK, Australia
Paypal is expanding the range of food-related payment options available in its apps in the United Kingdom and Australia. Already available in the United States, the Pay At Table and Order Ahead options in its iOS and Android apps are being enabled in the two countries, which allow users to pay for food at the table via the app itself, or to place orders for food for later pick-up from the location. Head of retail services for PayPal UK Rob Harper advised to TechCrunch the new features will be spreading to other European countries in the near future.
Practice is perfectly legal, admits government, but abused
Apple's practice over the past decade of funnelling all of its foreign profits through its international sales office in Cork, Ireland has allowed it to skip out on taxes in some other countries on billions of dollars in profits, according to an audit done by the Australian Financial Review. In Australia, Apple has paid only $200 million on ten years' worth of profits, totally nearly AUS $9 billion, the report said.
Canada, UK, New Zealand rumored to be coming soon
iTunes Radio is now available to people in Australia, Apple has announced. There the service is functionally identical to its American sibling, in that it's primarily supported by advertising, but free to people who have an iTunes Match subscription. To listen, people need a Mac or Windows PC with iTunes, an Apple TV, or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Visitors hoped to score exclusive t-shirt
The opening of Apple's new flagship store in Brisbane, Australia was met with unusually long lineups, observers note. People are said to have started forming a line almost 15 hours before the 10AM launch. Many of the people in line were reportedly aiming for the store's exclusive launch t-shirt; Apple regularly gives away custom shirts during the openings of high-profile outlets.
Countries operate on different sales timetable
Apple has begun its annual Back to School promotions for Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Apple is offering a $100 App Store gift card with qualifying Macs, and a $50 card with iPhones and iPads. Equivalent cards are being given out in New Zealand, but with prices adjusted to $125 NZ and $65 NZ, respectively.
Remodeled historic WWII building faced numerous setbacks
Delayed by over two years from its initial projected opening, a new flagship store in Brisbane, Australia is finally set to open on Friday, January 17. The latest Brisbane store is housed in the historic MacArthur Chambers building, which was used as a base of operations during World War II and named for General Douglas MacArthur. The project was once thought abandoned due to a contractor's bankruptcy filing and difficulty in approving renovations, but the obstacles were eventually overcome.
55-inch Ultra HD television shipping in Australia by late January
Australian hardware producer Kogan has used CES to launch two devices destined for sale in Australia. The company's first 55-inch Ultra HD television will be going on sale for $999 AUD ($900), and is accompanied on the show floor by the Agora HD Mini 3G tablet, an Android 4.2.2 device with a 7.85-inch, 1,024x768-resolution display.
A barricade sign has gone up for Apple's new store in Brisbane, Australia, reports note. While it doesn't mention a particular launch date, such signs typically appear about 10 to 14 days ahead of an Apple retail opening. Since the company normally prefers to debut stores on the weekend, January 10th or the 11th may be the most likely window.
24-month warranties to be provided after consumer watchdog investigation
Apple is being forced to comply with the Australian Consumer Law, in another legal argument over its warranties. An investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that Apple staff in the country misapplied Apple's policies for 14-day returns and 12-month limited manufacturer's warranty, instead of ones required under the ACL itself.
Demographic skews older, and with more buyers under median income
"Almost half" of the people who bought the iPhone 5c in September and October were people switching from Android phones, particularly ones by Samsung and LG, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. By comparison, some 80 percent of iPhone 5s purchases were by people upgrading from a previous iPhone. Kantar also notes that over 40 percent of 5c buyers were earning less than $49,000 per year, versus roughly 20 percent for the 5s. 5c buyers also tended to skew older, with an average age of 38 instead of the 5s' 34.
Nokia phablet with 20MP PureView camera out in UK, Australia soon
The Nokia Lumia 1520 has landed in Australia, following its launch in the United States and other countries. Not to be outdone, the six-inch phablet with a 1080p display will also be heading to the United Kingdom for launch on December 6th, with both carriers and third-party retailers said to be stocking the device.
Promo image points at possible iPad, accessory discounts
Apple has begun teasing its annual Black Friday sales event on its international websites. While the company's US website has yet to mention anything, the Australian site notes that the event will take place this Friday both online and at retail, and that online orders will have free shipping.
Local site prices Amazon US Kindle Fire HD under Australian retailers
Amazon has made a large push in Australia for its Kindle tablet line. The retailer has launched its Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets in the country, coming shortly after the Kindle Paperwhite became available in stores, and is accompanied by a regional version of the Kindle Store, with Kindle Direct Publishing also opening up in the territory.
Apple 'investigating the cause'
The iPad that exploded at an Australia Vodafone store was an older model, and not the iPad Air, according to Vodafone. "It was an earlier generation iPad with Retina display model - not one of the more recently launched devices. Apple is investigating the cause," one spokesperson states. Another comments that "Apple has taken the device for investigation, so we won't know any more until they do."
iPad charging port claimed to be source of fire in store
An Apple iPad reportedly exploded in a Vodafone store in Canberra, Australia earlier this week, causing the building to be evacuated. A demonstration model used by the carrier at the store apparently caught fire at the charging port, as well as ejecting smoke and sparks, though it is not entirely clear what generation of iPad was at fault.
Location expected to become new Brisbane flagship
Apple has started posting job listings for its third store in Brisbane, Australia, reports note. The outlet will be based in the MacArthur Chambers building, a 10-story structure dating back to 1934. Previously-submitted plans indicate that within its space, Apple is expected to make some architectural changes affecting windows, a stairway, and a wall in the mezzanine.
Lines start forming around some retail outlets
(Updated with start of sales in some countries) Apple has begun temporarily shuttering some of its online stores ahead of tomorrow's iPad Air launch. Pages for regions like Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the Netherlands are now offline. The storefronts should go back online sometime after midnight local time, when online orders for the Air will open.
LG G Pad 8.3 heading to retail in the UK and Ireland
LG is launching its G Pad 8.3 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, in time for the holiday shopping rush. The tablet, with an 8.3-inch 1080p display, a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, 5MP and 1.3MP cameras, 4,600mAh battery and 16GB of storage, will cost £260 ($415) when it goes on sale.
US, Canada, China, Australia see new forecasts
Shipping times for the iPhone 5s have changed at Apple's online store, checks show. As recently as yesterday, the device was only listed as shipping in "October" for US buyers. Now orders are set to arrive in two to three weeks; the same forecast has been applied to the Canadian, Chinese, and Australian storefronts, and possibly others.
English-speaking and Nordic countries in initial rollout plans
Apple is expected to make English-speaking and Nordic countries the first wave of its expansion of iTunes Radio into non-US countries, pulling ahead of main rival Pandora in terms of international reach, Bloomberg reports. Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," Apple expects to bring the new streaming-radio feature of iTunes to Canada, the UK, several Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand in a timeframe said to be aimed for early 2014.
Despite high pricing, online orders selling out rapidly
Though the prices on the contract-free iPhone 5c and 5s will appear eye-poppingly high to Americans, the just-opened sales of the new iPhones at retail in the Far East are generating long lines for very limited stock -- a fact reflected at Apple's online stores, where the iPhone 5s in any configuration requires at least seven business days before delivery in most regions now.
Carriers receiving only 'Space Gray' model; gold buyers pointed to Apple
Sales of the iPhone have begun in eastern Australia, with customers lining up to be among the first in the world to buy one of the new iPhone models at retail. As expected, interest is high in the new iPhone 5s -- however, our reporter in line in Penrith (a city not far from Sydney) reports that while stores have "plenty" of the silver and "Space Gray" models on hand, the prized "gold" model is in short supply, with the Penrith Apple Store having 50 or fewer units on hand, while well over 200 potential customers lined up prior to opening.
Few launch units available worldwide
Although the phone has only just launched in the eastern hemisphere, the iPhone 5s is proving to be in extremely short supply, reports suggest. Online orders of the device have opened up in Australia and mainland China, but Apple is already listing the product as shipping in 7 to 10 business days in those regions, regardless of color or capacity. In Hong Kong and Singapore, the 5s is simply quoted as shipping in "October."
New countries to join August 16th
Apple is extending the number of eligible countries in its USB adapter takeback program. The program began in China August 9th, and is coming to the US on August 16th. Now also joining on the 16th will be Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK.
Woman didn't check boxes before returning home
A 21-year-old woman from Brisbane, Australia was scammed into buying a pair of apples in place of the iPhones she was expecting, regional police say. The person recently placed an ad on classifieds site Gumtree, saying she was interested in buying a few iPhones. She was then contacted by another woman, who said she had a pair of iPhones to sell.
First Apple Store in South Australia
Apple is preparing to open a new Apple Store in Adelaide, Australia on May 25 at 10AM. The Rundle Place outlet will not only be Apple's first in Adelaide, but also by extension the first in the state of South Australia, which is otherwise sparsely populated. The company has 19 other stores in the country, most of which are in New South Wales or Victoria.
Galaxy S4 shipments in Australia experience surprise delays
Samsung’s Australian Galaxy S4 launch has been hit by shipping delays. The Korean tech giant put on a glitzy launch in Sydney on Wednesday, even lighting up the Opera House to celebrate the occasion. Although the launch event was held just a few days before its promised arrival in stores on April 27, the company made no indication that customers may have to endure any shipment issues.
Melbourne opening this weekend, Adelaide on the way
Apple is opening a new store in Melbourne, Australia this weekend at the Highpoint Shopping Centre. The new store, the second in Melbourne, will open at 10 AM local time on Saturday, April 27. The company is also, say sources, close to opening a store in Adelaide in South Australia, the first for that city and the state. Job listings for the Adelaide store gave away its presence, along with a signature black curtain covering part of the frontage of Rundle Place. Apple has opened seven other stores in Australia in just the past two years.
Fallout from cancelled Apple Store
A Queensland state court recently ordered Apple to continue to pay for its share of construction in the historic MacArthur Chambers building in Brisbane, Australia, say ifoAppleStore sources. Apple was at one point working on a store in the location, but cancelled it without explanation. The construction work is needed so that the space is in fit condition to be leased out to another tenant.
Vodafone Australia to roll out 4G coverage in June
Vodafone is to launch its 4G services to Australian customers in June. The initial rollout will see Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle, and the Gold Coast covered with 4G service, according to ZDNet. Tests on the 4G signal shows it as having a download speed of 80Mbps and an upload of 20Mbps, with a claimed maximum of 150Mbps possible for some customers. Like its competitors, national carriers Telstra and Optus, Vodafone will be keeping its 4G service charges the same as its 3G access, and hopes to have 1,000 4G sites operational by the end of 2013.
Some Apple workers allegedly told not to talk about new rights
Apple has extended the default warranty on its products in Australia from one year to two years, but retail staff are being told not to advertise that fact, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. In January 2011 a new Australian Consumer Law came into force, mandating that many products come with a warranty of "reasonable" length, even if a manufacturer's stated warranty has expired. What constitutes a reasonable length has been left flexible, but the country's Competition and Consumer Commission recommends that for a product like an expensive TV, the period can be up to two years.
Marks a first in Australian legal history
The Australian Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit has switched to a two-judge system as of Monday, says the Australian Financial Review. The situation is said to represent the first time the Federal Court of Australia has had two judges handling an initial case, but necessary because of the sheer number of patents consolidated into the lawsuit. Apple alone is reportedly asserting 19 properties on 120 infringement claims, directed against nine Samsung phones and two tablets. Samsung is asserting seven wireless patents as counterclaims.