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.
Metadata standard allegedly changed three times in a short period
Publishing Perspective reports that Apple is pushing Spanish and other Latin America publishers to get ready for the launch of the iBookstore, but may be making it difficult for booksellers to comply. According to unnamed sources, Spanish-language e-book distributor Libranda is requesting Spanish publishers to update metadata by August 30 to conform to Apple's stringent, and possibly variable, standards ahead of the rollout.
Region of increasing importance to Apple
The new head of Apple's Latin America division is former Sony Ericsson US and North American region head Anderson Teixeira, a Brazillian-born executive who also served in a similar capacity during his 10 years with the Sony Ericsson joint venture, which is now being folded into Sony's electronics division. Apple has been placing increasing emphasis on Latin America and particularly Brazil as a growing market, increasing its presence there significantly in recent months.
Still lacks books, iTunes Match, local currency
Across most of Latin America, the iTunes Store has now expanded from selling only apps to a full-blown store, including native and international music and movies for the first time, alongside apps, podcasts and iTunes University. So far, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Equador, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Venezuela have all been confirmed as offering full stores, though not without some significant omissions.
iPhone exclusivity issue
Apple could be re-evaluating its iPhone exclusivity agreements in future global releases as it expands into Europe, Asia, Central, and South America. Spanish language news site CincoDias writes that the same business methodology that Apple used to successfully launch the iPhone in the US doesn't necessarily mean the approach works globally. The publication cites poor European sales – when contrasted to North American numbers – especially due to individuals compromising the device's exclusivity through alternative means.
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.
Dell, Ubuntu in Canada
Dell today announced to its Canadian and Latin America customers that the Inspiron 1525n now has the option of shipping with Ubuntu Linux 7.1, as well as with the Canadian models of the XPS M1330n and Inspiron 530 – the latter two will ship throughout Latin America soon. Like the previously announced US, UK, Spanish and German models, the computers will feature DVD playback capability. Support options are available starting at $65 for 30 days, all the way to $275 for 1 year of standard support from Canonical.