Donations scale up to $200
Apple is now accepting donations for typhoon Haiyan relief through the iTunes Store. The full sum of each donation goes to the American Red Cross, and can range in value from $5 to $200. Apple does caution that because it's not sharing any personal information with the Red Cross, the latter party can't acknowledge donations. iTunes contributions are also ineligible for tax deductions.
Israeli models launching on November 3rd
(Updated with UAE info) Israel's Cellcom, Orange, and Pelephone have announced plans to launch the iPhone 5s and 5c on November 3rd, according to local business publication Globes. The carriers were previously expected to debut the new phones on November 7th. Cellcom will sell a 16GB 5s for NIS 3,700, and a 16GB 5c for NIS 3,000. Pelephone is asking NIS 3,680 and 3,220 for the same models. No Orange prices have been announced; sources say that HOT Mobile is also expected to get the new iPhones, but no dates or prices have been hinted at.
Expansion may be essential for successful future
Next week, 36 more carriers supporting the iPhone and/or iPad will be getting LTE, Apple revealed during today's Q1 results call. Although the company didn't name specific carriers, it did note that they're spread across regions including Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, and the Philippines. "Several" countries in the Middle East should be getting LTE.
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.
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.
Pace of international expansion slows
Apple has quietly revealed that it is launching the third-generation iPad in Guam and the Philippines on May 29th. Rather than making an official announcement, Apple has disclosed the news through its Asian iPad page, which has been updated to show the new locations. Other launch details have yet to be published, but Filipinos will have the advantage of ordering from Apple's online store.
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.
New Zealand store moves
A New Zealand-based Apple reseller, MagnumMac, has recently purchased a new building for occupation. Construction has already begun on the new storefront, which will be located in the center of Auckland's Newmarket shopping district, on the corner of Broadway and Khyber Pass. The location will serve as a replacement to a previous site in Newton, for which the lease expires in December. Existing customers have raised some concerns about the area's bad parking, but are claimed to understand the appeal of such a high-profile location. MagnumMac says it hopes to model the Newmarket shop after Apple's successful US-based stores, where the customer experience is highest priority.
iPhone 3G auction
A Filipino auction site has announced plans to sell the iPhone 3G at a price much cheaper than the local market, says CNET. In a press briefing on Friday, Auction.ph unveiled a special program to put the iPhone on sale through its website. Angelo Hernandez, public relations chief at Auction.ph, currently says that the iPhone will be auctioned off at a starting price of just 1 peso (2 cents), increasing in cost through 0.50 peso bidding increments. There will however be a ceiling to bids, with a maximum price of 5,000 pesos ($110).