Store could be intended to attract Belgian shoppers
Apple is preparing a new store in Lille, France which, barring unusual delays, should open in November, reports say. A black construction facade with the company's logo has been spotted on Rue Faidherbe; such barricades usually go up in the last few weeks before a store opening. The shop should span two floors, and take up slightly over 15,000 square feet.
iOS and 'free-to-play' game blamed
A 15-year-old from Antwerp, Belgium has managed to accumulate over 37,000 euro ($46,000) in iTunes charges on a credit card through in-app purchases, according to local publication Nieuwsblad. The teenager was reportedly playing a free-to-play iOS game called Game of War: Fire Age; several months in, his mother asked him to buy some e-books using her credit card. The boy then discovered he could buy virtual gold in-game using real money, greatly accelerating his progress. The title even has a casino minigame.
Pebble Firmware version 2.5 adds iOS 8 support, emoji
A firmware update for the Pebble smartwatch range adds iOS 8 support to the device, among other new additions. Version 2.5 of the firmware also activates its compass features using its magnetometer, allowing developers access to the component, as well as reintroducing the Domo watch face and adding the ability to display emoji within notifications and messages.
Countries include Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Italy
The second group of international iPhone 6/6 Plus launches will happen on September 26, checks at Apple's international storefronts indicate. Some countries discovered so far include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The United Arab Emirates will get the new phones on September 27.
Online store discounts 'still valid'
The Apple on Campus program -- which lets students buy discounted Macs and accessories through their school -- has been halted in Belgium and Switzerland, according to Apple officials. "Yes, Apple on Campus was stopped. However, the Apple Education Store discounts are obviously still valid," says a spokesperson for Apple Switzerland. Those prices are not as cheap as those that were available through Apple on Campus, however. One exception to the discontinuations is a program in Switzerland known as Neptune.
Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong among new places
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Model still not available in US
The 8GB iPhone 5c is now on sale in 14 more countries, checks show. When the 8GB option first became available last month, it launched in just a handful of regions. The model is newly available in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Judge said to be hesitant to go through with measure
A Belgian judge is considering whether to order local ISPs to block access to Apple websites in the country, local reports say. The measure is a possible response to charges of fraud brought by consumer protection group FPS Economy. FPS points out that while Apple has been claiming a standard warranty of just one year, European law mandates a minimum of two, at no extra cost. Apple has been asking Belgians to buy an extended AppleCare warranty to get two years of support.
Should push Apple into allowing 4G on all Belgian iPhones
The Belgian government has approved a bill stopping electronics makers from blocking 4G on otherwise compatible hardware, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has announced. The bill was first proposed by Economy Minister Johan Vande Lanotte in response to public complaints about Apple's treatment of iPhones. Currently, only people who buy iPhones from Apple's local commercial partner, Mobistar, can access 4G.
System without update since October 2012
A major Belgian retailer, Computerstore.be, is now listing updated Mac minis as shipping in late February. Hosted pages mention systems based on Haswell-level Core i5 and i7 processors. Apple has yet to actually announce launch dates for new Minis, but when contacted by a shopper, Computerstore claimed its information comes from Apple or reliable sources.
Extends coverage to two-year period demanded by EU law
Apple has updated its default warranties in Belgium, France, and Germany to reflect European Union law, reports say. EU regulations require covering the sort of goods Apple sells for two years. Until now, though, Apple only marketed its warranties as covering one year in the above countries, drawing criticism from governments and consumer groups. The company was only giving two-year warranties to people paying for extended AppleCare packages.
Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands seeing access
(Updated with complete list of countries) Access to movies and TV shows via iTunes in the Cloud is rolling out across several more European countries, reports say. The one confirmed country is France, where the feature has been tested with both iTunes and the Apple TV. Various people on Twitter, however, are claiming that the option is now also available in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Netherlands, Belgium first to get Staples Easy 3D service
Staples is going to offer 3D printing to model designers in some of its European stores from early 2013. Called Staples Easy 3D, the office retailer will allow customers located in the Netherlands and Belgium to print out full-color objects from their own files, and then to either pick them up from a local store or have them shipped to their address.
Italy, Spain, Sweden among prominent regions
The third-generation iPad is now on sale in an additional 25 countries. The emphasis is mostly on Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden are included. The only non-European countries are in fact Macau, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Goes beyond web, iPad, set-tops
Global iPlayer will make it to the iPhone and iPod touch on December 8th, the BBC has announced. The paid video-on-demand service has been available on the iPad for about five months. A list of countries getting the iPhone app on the 8th includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Shipping times still averaging 1-2 weeks
The iPhone 4S is now formally on sale in 22 more countries, following an expansion of preorders exactly a week ago. For the time being Apple has adopted a European focus; new regions include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. More regions should be added over the course of the next several months.
Ireland, Spain, Sweden among major regions
Apple has opened up iPhone 4S preorders to 22 previously unserved countries. The phone is now available in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Shipping times are typically listed at one to two weeks, a delay consistent with the US online store.
Parallels expanding video sales
Apple will finally bring the Apple TV to seven more European countries on Tuesday, a MacRumors report says. The company has allegedly informed resellers of the plan, which should specifically see the set-top come to Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. In Finland, at least, pricing is expected to be €119, or about $160. In the US the hardware sells for just $99 before tax.
Apple adds bulletpoints for upcoming iPhone event
Apple has dramatically expanded the presence of iTunes in Europe, reports say. In addition to Poland, the iTunes Music Store is now accessible in 11 more European countries. The remainder of the list includes Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Could signify wider Apple TV sales to match
(Updated with Swedish info) Ten more European Union countries should soon be getting access to the iTunes Music Store, according to a music industry source in touch with Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. Only Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are mentioned by name. Apple though is said to be essentially ready to go with the expansion; a separate source suggests an October launch, which could in theory coincide with the company's October 4th press event or follow sometime thereafter.
Retailer already offering local sales
White iPhone 4s are already arriving at retailers around the world, photos reveal. A Belgian retailer, Van Roey, notes that it has received its first shipment, as evidenced by boxes with the white phone on the front. The company says it is also in fact beginning to sell them, although shipments can only go out to addresses in the Benelux area.
Prominent launches include Australia, Canada
Apple has confirmed plans to release the iPhone 4 in 17 more regions on Friday. In North America, Canada will finally get the device; the bulk of additional launches are in Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Elsewhere, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore will begin sales.
Second wave of countries due in July
Clearing up a formerly ambiguous timetable, Apple has announced that the international launch of the iPad is now set for May 28th. Nine regions will get the tablet initially: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. A second wave is only expected in July, including Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
Robbery appears carefully planned
Between 3,000 and 4,000 iPhones have been stolen from CEVA Logistics in Willebroek, Belgium, according to regional newspapers De Standaard and Gazet van Antwerpen. Although the exact number of phones taken is uncertain, each one is estimated to have been worth between €575 and €675, putting the total value of the robbery around €2 million, or $3 million US. It is suspected that the thieves had inside information, as they cut a hole in the roofing precisely over where the iPhones were being held.
Japanese iPhone 3GS launch
Japanese shoppers are already in line to buy the iPhone 3G S, which goes on sale with Softbank at 7AM local time on Friday, equivalent to 6PM Eastern on Thursday. Lines are smaller than those for the iPhone 3G launch, according to IDG, at present closer to 100 people at Softbank's flagship Omotesando store. When reservations opened for the 3G S last week, approximately 200 people arrived at the Omotesando location. Online preorders have not been allowed with Japanese iPhones.
Belgian iPhone launch
Belgian iPhone 3G carrier Mobistar has confirmed it will sell the long-awaited device on July 11th, offering users a glimpse of its voice and data bundles, which seem to echo upsetting rates found in countries such as Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand, but with a slight upside. Despite offering plans ranging from €30 to €60 that contain a mere 200MB to 1GB of data, and three to nine hours of talk time, Mobistar is offering the 8GB handset itself for €525 (including VAT), devoid of any contract requirement on the user's part.
Belgian iPhone delayed
Belgian iPhone customers will have to wait a bit longer than the earlier-announced July 11th launch date, since the device is subject to a law prohibiting a device to be sold in conjunction with a required subscription. French language site MacBidouille reports that the law counters Apple's plan of offering exclusive arrangements for some countries, since the lack of a contract would mean that the device would not be tied directly to Mobistar.
Belgian iPhone plans
Belgium has joined the ranks of countries that will soon receive the iPhone, according to regional site Astel.be. The site makes the crucial claim that the phone will be available unlocked, in a scheme similar to the one suggested for Italy by La Repubblica; while this could be a part of Apple's rumored new pricing plans, under which phones would be more expensive but unlocked by default, this may be a necessity, as Belgian law is said to prevent carrier exclusivity. A similar law resulted in the creation of an unlocked iPhone for France.