Apple pulled orders from Malaysian factory because of low yields
Singapore-based supplier Flextronics effectively hired slave labor to help build camera modules for the Apple iPhone 5, a new Businessweek report claims. The company is said to have relied on recruiters across southeast Asia, who charged migrant workers hundreds of dollars -- up to half or more of their annual salaries -- for the right to take a job. The recruiters then confiscated passports, ultimately leaving the new workers without any pay or food for months.
Event set for January 25
Apple has formally announced this year's Lunar New Year sale throughout much of southeast Asia. The event, also known as "Red Friday," is scheduled for January 25, and will include discounts on Macs, iPads, iPods, and accessories, as well as free shipping. An official gift guide has been published to go with the event, but as usual Apple hasn't revealed what the exact discounts will be. Those should only be published on the 25th itself.
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.
Set-top shows in fraction of new Asian iTunes regions
In tandem with an expansion of the iTunes Store, Apple is now selling the Apple TV in at least four more regions, checks show. These include Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Three of the new iTunes regions -- Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines -- don't have the set-top listed on their local Apple online stores.
Includes music, movies, iCloud services
Apple has announced that the iTunes Store is now available in 12 new regions in Asia. These include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Local visitors can now buy music from iTunes -- including local and international artists -- and either rent or buy movies, including titles from major studios like Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, and Warner Brothers.
Launch could be announced Wednesday
Apple is on the verge of announcing iTunes music, movies, and TV shows for several important Asian regions, sources say. An event is allegedly planned for tomorrow in Hong Kong; it may play host to musician Jason Mraz, as well as representatives from a number of Asian music labels. The labels are said to have been in talks with Apple as of last week, which may still be ongoing. New launch regions are believed to include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Parallels Black Friday offerings in US
As promised, Apple has launched special Lunar New Year online sales in a handful of countries. These are notably similar to the company's Black Friday deals in the US, which were modest in scope. At the Hong Kong Apple Store, for instance, Apple is offering about 8 percent off Wi-Fi iPads, or 6 to 7 percent off 3G models.
Limited to handful of countries
Apple is running a special Lunar New Year promotion on Friday, January 6th, the company has announced. In China and Hong Kong, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines, people will be able to visit local Apple online stores for rare first-party discounts. As with the company's Black Friday sale, though, no prices are being advertised ahead of time.
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.
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.
Apple ramps up international reach
The iPhone 4 should be launching in several more countries over the course of the next week. Three rollouts are scheduled for September 24th, when Israel will get the phone through Orange, Turkey through Turkcell and Vodafone, and Thailand via TrueMove. Although some 200,000 Thais are said to have pre-ordered, only 45,000 to 60,000 phones may actually be ready for launch day.
Carrier signs three-year agreement
Digi will begin selling the iPhone in Malaysia in "coming months," according to an announcement. Details remain scarce, but the carrier says it has signed a three-year agreement with Apple, which is expected to help push the former's sales up by more than 5 percent for 2010. The deal is likely connected to Digi's parent company, Telenor, which already sells the iPhone in many regions around the world.
Malay, Indonesian iPhones
Malaysia and Indonesia will be the next two countries to carry the iPhone 3G, accounts indicate. Malaysian carrier Maxis is already taking pre-orders for the device, which should launch in the country on March 20th. When selecting a 12-month contract, an 8GB phone will cost between RM 1900 and RM 1080, while a 16GB model will cost between RM 2290 and RM 1470. Prices are dependent on the particular i-Value plans users pick, which start at RM 100 for 333 minutes and 500MB of data and end at RM 375 for 2,500 minutes and 3GB of data.