Gives Apple 10 days to reply over currency usage or face fine
The government of Brazil has asked Apple to explain why the company charges for items in the iTunes store in US dollars instead of Brazilian reals. The Consumer Protection Secretariat of the Brazilian ministry has given the company just ten days to respond to the query, which aims to find out whether Apple's practices are lawful or not.
Timing dependent on construction, hiring
Apple is hoping to open its Rio de Janeiro store by February or March of 2014, a source claims. Late last year, the company publicly revealed plans to open a Rio location, which would also be its first in Brazil. Since then, however, the company has kept quiet. Rumors have put the outlet in the Village Mall.
Models for sale to be manufactured locally
Brazil's National Telecommunications Agency -- also known as Anatel -- has granted regulatory approval for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, reports say. The agency states that the iPhones to be sold will be built at Foxconn's Jundiaí factory, near São Paulo. Documents also show that they will run on Brazil's native LTE frequency, 2600MHz; previous iPhones and iPads available in Brazil have only operated in the 700MHz band.
Name shared with IGB Electronica
Apple has won an appeal allowing it to continue using the "iPhone" trademark in Brazil. A local company, IGB Electronica, earlier argued in court that it had exclusive Brazilian rights to the name, since it first filed for a trademark in 2000, seven years before the Apple iPhone would be announced. That trademark was granted in 2008 though, and IGB only released its Android-based Gradiente iphone in December 2012, a month before the trademark was due to expire. Nevertheless, Brazil's Institute of Industry Property recently ruled in favor of IGB, prompting the Apple appeal.
Apple makes heavy international push
Details have emerged on several new international Apple Stores. Aside from a new Tokyo location, Apple is reportedly working on another Parisian outlet, this time around Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It's not clear when Apple will move in, but the target building's current tenants are said to have staggered leave dates ranging from next month to the end of March 2014.
Brazilian model ships almost eight months after US debut
The iPad mini will ship to Brazil on June 25th, local retailers FNAC and Saraiva have announced. No other details have been revealed, such as prices or cellular carriers. The launch will take place nearly eight months after the tablet first went on sale in countries like the US.
Could mark change from
An allegedly official Apple email sent to Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) in Brazil may support rumors that Apple is planning to do its own repairs of iOS devices, according to AppleInsider. At the moment, a person bringing a broken iPhone, iPod, or iPad to Apple is more likely to have the device swapped out for a refurbished unit, to which a person has to resync their data using iCloud or iTunes. It can often be cheaper and/or faster for the company than conducting a true repair, which requires having a supply of spare parts on hand.
4S still significantly more expensive than in US
Apple has lowered the prices of unlocked models of the iPhone 4 and 4S in Brazil, reports observe. The 8GB iPhone 4 has dropped from R$ 1499 ($741 US) to R$ 1099 ($544 US), while the 16 GB iPhone 4S has moved from R$ 1999 ($989 US) to R$ 1699 ($840 US). While buying either device in Brazil normally involves 12 monthly payments, paying in full over the phone can reduce prices by another 10 percent, to R$ 989 ($489 US) and R$ 1529 ($756 US), respectively.
Governmental consumer advocacy groups brings suit
MacMagazine.com.br has reported that the Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Software (IBDI) has sued Apple, claiming that the company has introduced "planned obsolescence" and implements unfair business practices in regards to the fourth-generation iPad. According to the suit, Apple could have implemented all of the features of the iPad 4 in the third-generation iPad, and willfully chose not to -- knowing that it could roll out the improvements piecemeal in a quickly-released fourth-generation iPad just seven months later.
Company already looking to appeal, report says
Brazil's Institute of Industrial Property has ruled that Apple does not have an exclusive trademark on the term "iPhone" in the country, according to the BBC. Local firm Gradiente Eletronica registered the name in 2000, well before Apple, which only secured the name in 2007. Apple can continue to sell the iPhone in Brazil, but Gradiente now has the option to sue for exclusive rights.
Companies not assuming liability, says Public Ministry
Brazil's Public Ministry has filed legal action against two companies, Apple and Vivo Participações, for breaching the country's Consumer Protection Code, says Terra Brazil. The Brazilian government alleges that the businesses are failing to assume liability for defective products. Action was taken, Terra Brazil reports, after a woman complained that her iPhone wasn't replaced by either Apple or Vivo.
Gradiente now selling cheap Android handset with 'iPhone' name
Gradiente SA, a company selling an out-of-date and inexpensive Android knockoff of the iPhone with the same brand name has indicated it is willing to deal with Apple if the company wants to license the iPhone name back from them. The company filed for and won the right to the name "iPhone" in Brazil in 2008 and has "exclusive" rights to use the name through 2018, despite the fact that Apple is already selling the iPhone in Brazil.
Kindle Store, Google Play hitting Brazil
Amazon and Google have opened digital bookstores in the Brazilian market as of today, looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of e-books in South America's largest country. Amazon will be selling its digital books through its popular Kindle Store and is expected to begin selling its Kindle hardware in Brazil in the near future. Google, meanwhile has expanded its Play Store, which sells e-books and offers movie rentals for computers as well as mobile devices running its Android operating system.
Will spend over $500 million for new electronics factory
Hon Hai subsidiary Foxconn CMMSG Industria de Electronicos has bought 350 acres of land near Sao Paulo, Brazil with the intention of building a new factory to assemble smart phones, tablets and other electronics. The deal will create a fifth Foxconn factory in Latin America, and at least the second such facility in Brazil. Foxconn has paid $12.6 million for the land, and will spend more than $490 million building the new facility. The current factory in Brazil is said to be one of the primary assembly plants for the iPad mini. The future facility could be used for expanded production in the Americas.
Brazilian store reportedly coming to Rio de Janeiro
Apple is planning to open retail stores in Brazil and Turkey, official job listings show. In both countries Apple has put up listings for a full slate of retail workers, including managers, Geniuses, Creatives, Specialists, and other positions. The Turkish store is headed for the capital of Istanbul, while Apple has reportedly told Brazilian news sites that a shop is planned for Rio de Janeiro.
Documentation hints at Portuguese version of Siri
The iPhone 5 has been approved for sale by Brazil's telecommunications regulatory, Anatel, MacRumors reports. A notice is said to have been posted yesterday, and lists Foxconn plants in Brazil and China as assembly facilities. Still left out of the document, though, is when Apple might plan to launch the 5 in the region. Apple is aiming at having the phone in 100 countries by December.
Final unit missing rear mic, source claims
Production of the so-called iPad mini is in progress at a Brazilian factory, says a source for Macotakara. The person doesn't name the manufacturer, but it would almost certainly be Foxconn, Apple's main supplier, which opened up a Brazilian plant just this year. Additionally the source claims that the production version of the new iPad is missing a microphone hole on the back, despite earlier mockups suggesting one, and the presence of a rear mic on the iPhone 5.
President of Brazil Operations arrested over political YouTube videos
Fabio Coelho, president of Google's Brazilian operations, was arrested today in São Paulo after the search giant failed to comply with a court order to take down a YouTube video. As the BBC reported, a Judge ordered Coelho's arrest yesterday, and Brazilian site G1 confirms that Federal Police took Coelho into custody today. Coelho will not remain under arrest, according to the police, but will be released upon signing a document in which he commits to obey a subpoena.
Livraria Cultura to sell Kobo devices below Kindle costs
Kobo will partner with major Brazilian bookseller Livraria Cultura to sell its e-readers and ebooks. The e-reader manufacturer confirmed the partnership in a blog post last Friday. The deal will give Kobo a foothold in the burgeoning Brazilian e-reader market, which has seen increased attention from the major digital reader and e-book retailers over the past year.
Separate from iTunes Match growth
(Updated with additional countries) Movie support has been added to iTunes in the Cloud in three more regions. The UK, Canada, and Columbia now have access to the feature, which ensures that movies bought on one device are automatically available for download elsewhere. Previously the countries could only use the option for music, apps, books, and music videos.
Sources claim Brazil location for manufacture, tax relief
More rumors have come to light about the rumored iPad Mini suggesting that it will take its design cues from the 4th generation iPod touch. Japanese site Macotakara claims the next iPad iteration will be almost as thin as an iPod touch, according to reliable sources in China. The device will be about the same as the Google Nexus 7 in terms of height, but it will be marginally wider.
High taxes, low market penetration factors in departure
HTC has not only cancelled the planned launch of the One series of Android phones in Brazil, it has announced plans to pull out of the Brazilian market entirely. The company will maintain a skeleton force in the country to support current devices. HTC's marketshare, at 0.11 percent, is last in the country -- behind Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Sony, LG, Motorola, RIM, and ZTE.
Argentina, Brazil among major launch regions
Apple is bringing the third-generation iPad to 30 more countries this weekend, the company has announced. The bulk of launches will happen on May 11th; for that day the list includes Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Morocco, Peru, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. Several Middle Eastern countries will get the tablet on May 12th, those being Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Water, food, transportation major issues
Workers at the Foxconn factory in Jundiai, Brazil may go on strike beginning May 3rd if the company does not resolve "severe" issues involving poor-quality food, water shortages and overcrowding of transportation vehicles, according to a statement from the workers' union. Foxconn has been given 10 days to resolve the issues, which came up at a meeting between some 2,500 workers and company officials on Monday, reports local paper Jornal de Jundiai.
Avenue is near Brazilian Foxconn factory
The mayor of a Brazilian city in Sao Paulo where Foxconn has one of its few foreign factories has renamed one of its streets near the facility "Avenida Steve Jobs" in honor of the late co-founder of Apple. The factory in Jundiai is said to be producing new iPhone 4 and iPad 2 units, and CEO Tim Cook has said in public remarks that Brazil is an area of "major growth" for the company in the coming years.
Sharing feature so far limited to Brazil
The online Apple store's earlier downtime appears to have brought two minor upgrades. The sales chat window has undergone a cosmetic improvement, more consistent with modern Apple aesthetics. Of special interest though is a reported change to the Brazilian store, where sales workers can share their screens with customers in order to highlight product features.
Third-gen iPad yet to be approved
Apple has received certification to start selling locally-assembled units of the 16GB iPad 2 in Brazil, MacRumors claims to have learned. While Apple already sells every model of the iPad 2 in the country, most are assembled in China. The third-generation iPad has yet to be certified for sale in Brazil, whether from Chinese or Brazilian factories.
Apple could score rare victory over Amazon
The iBookstore is set to expand to Brazil within 30 days, claims a local magazine, Veja. No other details of the arrangement have been revealed, but the publication is the same one that roughly predicted when Apple would bring the iTunes Music Store to Brazil, and correctly stated that the first digital catalog by Roberto Carlos would be a highlight. The Music Store launched a few days after Veja's December 8th target.
High pricing still unchanged
Apple has begun selling Brazilian-made 8GB iPhone 4s in that country, reports say. Previously all iPhone 4 models were made in China, but units are now rolling off of Foxconn's Brazilian assembly lines. The switchover is actually believed to have happened several weeks ago, but gone largely unnoticed. At Apple's regional online store, the Brazilian-made black and white models are listed as MD128BR/A and MD198BR/A, respectively. Earlier Chinese-made equivalents for the area bore MD128BZ/A and MD198BZ/A identifiers.
Five factories in works for Brazil
(Updated with denial of Brazilian plans) Foxconn is planning to build five extra factories in Brazil, according to São Paulo's Secretary of Planning and Development of the State, Julio Semeghini. Each is expected to be manned by about 1,000 workers, and produce iPads, notebooks, and general electronics. The actual locations of the factories have yet to be decided, although São Paulo is claimed to be campaigning heavily.
Brazil, Russia, South Africa among major regions
The iPhone 4S is now available in over 20 more countries, checks show. A list includes Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. The expansion coincides with expansions of the iTunes Store and iTunes Match.
Made possible by iTunes Store expansion
Brazilians can now finally buy the Apple TV, checks show. Locally the set-top costs R$399, or just under $218 US. While the main sources of content are iTunes and iCloud, users can also watch video from Vimeo and YouTube, or push media to a TV from an AirPlay-capable iOS handheld.
iTunes Match comes to Brazil
Apple has now formally confirmed the expansion of the iTunes Store to a host of Latin American countries. The strongest emphasis is on Brazil, where the initial music catalog is said to include over 20 million songs, including the first digital editions of Roberto Carlos' collection. Apple says that most songs are priced at 99 cents, and most albums at $9.99.
Latin stars, Apple executives fete opening
A tip from a South American website has suggested that Apple will kick off the launch of its long-awaited full iTunes Store in Brazil on December 15th with a star-studded party at an unnamed hotel in Sao Paulo, featuring both well-known names in the Latin America music scene as well as Apple executives. Performances at the party will be recorded and offered on iTunes itself, according to the rumor.
Taiwan, Malaysia, others cited as launch countries
Brazil and Russia have officially entered the ranks of countries getting the iPhone 4S on December 16th. In Brazil, the local division of carrier Claro has put up a marketing page singling out the date. Some local shops have reportedly been selling the 4S since last week, but unofficially and at extremely high prices, approaching $2,000 for a 16GB model.
Brazil, other unspecified countries on tap
(Updated with AP info) Apple will finally expand the iTunes Music Store to the rest of Latin America on December 8th, moving beyond Mexico, claims Brazilian magazine Veja. The company has allegedly already secured deals with Brazilian music labels. To make a splash in that country, Apple has reportedly secured the rights to songs from Roberto Carlos, who like The Beatles was previously a long-time holdout on digital sales. Beatles albums only reached iTunes late last year.
Revives Tech Talk concept
Apple has unveiled plans for an iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour. Apple experts are scheduled to visit nine cities during the tour, including Berlin, London, Rome, Beijing, Seoul, São Paolo, New York City, Seattle, and Austin. Events will start in Berlin on November 2nd and end in Austin on January 23rd. Registration for January 13th's New York City event is already full.
Brazilian firms lack ability to finance project
Brazil's national development bank, BNDES, could withdraw support for Foxconn's efforts to start iPad production in the country, reports say. Contrary to earlier reports Foxconn has yet to actually begin production in Brazil, although the country's president, Dilma Rousseff, has previously suggested that tablets could roll off the assembly line by the end of the year. Talks are stalling, a local publication claims.
Production leaves China for first time
Brazil's minister of science and technology, Aloizio Mercadante, has announced that a new Foxconn factory in Jundiaí is complete and already producing iPads, reports note. The information was revealed at a hearing of the country's Commission of Economic Affairs. Although production is currently in progress, Brazilian-made iPads are not expected to ship until December.
Foxconn to make iPads in Brazil this Sept.
The Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology has said that Foxconn will begin manufacturing the iPad 2 by September. According to the Minister, Apple had hoped to have iPad production begin in Brazil in late July. However, due to construction delays associated with the new Foxconn production line and a shortage of skilled labor, the start of manufacturing had to be postponed.
Joins other Apple launches in India, Ukraine
The iPad 2 will also launch in Russia and Brazil this coming Friday, reports say. While little information has emerged about Brazilian plans, Russian tablets will reportedly be sold at a variety of stores including MediaMarkt, Beliy Veter Cifrovoi, M.Video, ION, Technosila, Eldorado, z-Store and Re:Store. Re:Store’s PR director, Ludmila Semushina, says the chain expects the iPad 2 to sell "even faster" in Russia versus Germany, Denmark and Norway, where initial stock vanished within three days.
Local iPad production slated for November
Apple's Brazilian plans are likely linked to an expansion by manufacturing partner Foxconn, a Reuters report suggests. Currently situated in Taiwan and China, Foxconn is "proposing a partnership" with Brazil worth $12 billion over the course of five to six years, according to the country's president, Dilma Rousseff. "We've been talking to them [Foxconn] for three months," adds science and technology minister Aloizio Mercadente.
BMW seen as backup option
A corporate mogul, Eike Batista, is courting Apple with the hope it might be willing assemble products in Brazil, rather than China, a local publication says. MacMagazine notes that Batista is looking for companies to occupy 90 square miles at the Port of Acu, a project under construction in southeastern Brazil, valued at $1.6 billion. Batista is the eighth richest person in the world, having accumulated a net worth of $27 billion based largely on oil and mining profits.
New apple store opens, extended iPhone warranty
In brief: Residents of Brazil can now purchase Apple merchandise directly from Apple through a local online store. To celebrate the grand opening of the Brazilian store, Apple is currently offering a free gift bag to any customer who purchases an iPod or Mac before October 20th. Meanwhile, GadgetGuard has announced that it is now offering an extended iPhone warranty. The warranty has two tiers, and covers things left out from Apple's own terms, such as water damage and cracked screens.
Mex., Brazilian stores
Apple has launched a Mexican version of the iTunes Music Store, opening up digital music sales to the country. All tracks are DRM-free, as in the US, but cost a universal 12 pesos individually, though album prices may vary. Music videos cost approximately 24 pesos each. The Mexican iTunes Store as a whole continues to lack some features; though iPhone apps are available, movies and TV shows are not. Similarly, the mobile version of the iTunes Store remains non-functional.
Representatives from Apple recently visited Brazil in attempts to gauge the feasibility of an iPhone introduction in the country, reports indicate. A number of hurdles to introduction exist, including a high smuggling rate (90% of iPods sold in the country are imported illegally), steep taxes and more. Portal Exame reports that in December, Apple sent its senior-manager of governmental affairs for Latin America, Susan Cronin, directly to Brasilia. According to sources, Apple plans to introduce the iPhone in Brazil and, given high-enough demand, start manufacturing devices there at a later date.
40 new retail stores in 08
Some 40 new Apple retail stores will open in 2008, a company executive says. Speaking at a press event for the 14th Street store in New York City, senior retail VP Ron Johnson has said that Apple will expand with an international focus in the new year. The first Brazilian store is in fact opening this month in the Shopping Iguatemi mall in Sao Paulo, and the city will get a second store within 2008, located inside Shopping Marketplace. Apple is meanwhile rumored to be negotiating for space in the Torre Mayor office complex in Mexico City, a structure that includes 33,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.