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.
Company testing carriers before allowing phone on networks
Apple has been running its own LTE tests before offering the iPhone 5 to carriers, according to Telecoms.com. The site says it first heard about the testing in October, but this week heard from a Swisscom spokesperson, who stated that "Apple only enables 4G access after testing their device on an operator’s live network." The situation is the reverse of what normally happens in the cellphone industry, where carriers vet phones to prevent substandard hardware from impairing their networks or tarnishing their reputations.
'No agreement so far,' says SBB
Representatives from Apple are set to meet with people from Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) "in coming days or weeks," according to a spokeswoman for the latter company. "There's been no agreement so far, we're going to talk about it," Patricia Claivaz tells Agence France-Presse. SBB and watchmaker Mondaine have threatened action against Apple over the new Clock app in iOS 6, arguing that the faux-analog clocks it displays are similar to a design created in 1944 by engineer Hans Hilfiker, used at stations by SBB, and later licensed to Mondaine.
App borrows look from Swiss clock design
Two Swiss companies -- Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and watchmaker Mondaine -- are considering pursuing Apple over the new Clock app in the iPad version of iOS 6, according to Blick.ch. The look of the clocks in the app is said to resemble a design originally used in Swiss railway stations and currently licensed by Mondaine. A spokesman for SBB, Reto Kormann, says that the railway has already contacted Apple, while Mondaine CEO André Bernheim has confirmed an intent to go after Apple.
Government to provide allowance for shown faces
Switzerland's supreme court has issued a ruling that provides flexibility for censored faces in Google's Street View images, after lower courts issued zero-tolerance demands. If the previous decision had been enforced, the search giant could have faced penalties if its automated face-blurring system failed to obscure every individual contained in the panoramic images of Swiss streets.
Upgraded with Retina Display, quad-core A5X chip
Apple today announced the third-generation iPad at an event in San Francisco. The device's main feature is a 2048x1536 Retina Display, twice the resolution of the iPad 2, rated at 264 pixels per inch; existing apps will be upscaled automatically. Color saturation is said to be 44 percent higher. The tablet also makes the switch to a new dual-core but quad graphics processor, the A5X, which Apple says is built with the Retina Display in mind. Interface-wise the tablet has been improved with features like voice dictation.
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.
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.
Some regions temporarily barred from selling apps
iTunes Connect is officially scheduled to undergo maintenance today between 9AM and 4PM Pacific time, developers reveal. The service represents the backend of iTunes, the means by which people submit audio, video and applications. Apple is cautioning app developers to avoid making pricing changes during the downtime, since that will cause an app to disappear from sale until the maintenance is over. At that point an app should return with its new pricetag.
Information kept secret by Apple, Fortune
Unbeknownst to the public, Steve Jobs traveled to Basel, Switzerland in early 2009 to seek cancer treatment, newly disclosed information reveals. The secret was passed on to a Fortune reporter by Jerry York, a former member of Apple's board of directors who died in March of last year. Jobs is specifically said to have made the trip to undergo an unusual hormone-delivered radiological treatment to cope with neuroendocrine cancer.
More launches expected soon
Apple has greatly expanded the international reach of the new Apple TV, bringing it to Mexico and Japan, as well as several European countries including Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Some sample prices include a cost of €119 in Italy, and 129 CHF in Switzerland. Both of those regions should now have HD movie rentals via the iTunes Store.
Video lags well behind music, app availability
Apple may be on the verge of making movies officially available in several more European countries, an Italian site claims. Macity notes that the option is, for instance, appearing for some iTunes and Apple TV users in Italy, although only by roundabout means; the option doesn't yet show in the iTunes Store's drop-down menus. A selection of movies is already present, such as Aliens, Avatar and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief .
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.
Launch-day stock quickly evaporates
Apple is already pushing out the shipping times for international iPad pre-orders, checks show. The first wave of tablets is set to ship on May 28th, to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. All of Apple's online storefronts in those countries now display a June 7th shipping date for new customers.
Softbank offers installment, subcription plans
More pricing details have come out for the international iPad, which launches on May 28th. Japanese carrier Softbank has announced intentions to sell both the tablet and various data plans. Paying upfront, Wi-Fi iPads are 48,960, 59,040 and 68,880 yen, for 16, 32 and 64GB capacities; 3G models are 61,920, 72,000 and 81,840 yen.
Substantially more expensive than in US, Canada
Apple has confirmed pricing for the UK versions of the iPad, launching on May 28th. The base 16GB Wi-Fi model will cost £429, with VAT included. Prices rise to £499 for 32GB, and £599 for 64GB. A £100 premium applies to each capacity when choosing a 3G edition of the tablet.
Not all countries confirmed
Most or all countries getting the iPad on May 28th will also get iBooks and access to the iBookstore at the same time, Apple has disclosed. So far confirmed are Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Spain and the UK. France, Germany and Switzerland are likely to have iBooks support as well, but this has yet to be mentioned by Apple.
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.
iPhone described as a non-distinctive trademark
Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court has upheld an earlier rejection of Apple's trademark application for the term "iPhone," according to Managing IP. The Trademark Office originally denied the application last summer, claiming the "i" distinction could be interpreted as a generic term for "Internet phone" or "information phone."
Slight delay past original claims
Apple has at last set a formal release date for the first iPad models. Wi-Fi only iPads will go on sale in the US on April 3rd, in an unusual Saturday launch. Online pre-orders however are set to begin March 12th, for both Wi-Fi- and 3G-ready tablets. Sales in other countries -- namely Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK -- will only begin in late April, but all regions will have access to 3G models at that point.
Zurich Apple Store opening
The grand opening of Apple's latest store in Switzerland has drawn large crowds, as shown in images posted by the Italian Mac-enthusiast site Macitynet. The building, located at 77 Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, offers over 4,300 square feet of space and employs 70 staff members. The layout is split between two levels, with unique utilization of the below-ground area for a Genius Bar. Following the typical Apple Store design, the architects integrated a large proportion of glass and stainless steel.
UK, Swiss iPhone sales
UK sales of the iPhone have diminished in recent weeks, sources claim. Regional carrier O2 is said to be selling between 18,000 and 20,000 phones per week, down from recently-quoted levels of about 27,000, and an early high of 50,000. The reason for the decline is uncertain, but is said to be attributable to the Android-based T-Mobile G1, and Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm, both of which have been highly anticipated and are due to release soon in the UK.
Geneva Apple Store info
The first Apple Store in the Swiss city of Geneva will be opening September 29th, according to a tipster for MacNN. The source claims that a staff meeting was held at the Warwick Hotel in downtown Geneva last week, and that the actual retail location will open "exactly" two weeks from today. The store is situated on Rue de Rive, and had "bientôt ouvert" painted on its black construction facade approximately two weeks ago. The erection of such facades typically indicates that an Apple Store will open within a month.
Three Swiss Apple Stores
Apple is expected to open three new retail stores in Switzerland by the end of the year, multiple sources say. One shop is the Rue de Rive location, Geneva's first Apple Store, which recently had the words "bientôt ouvert" (opening soon) added to its black construction facade (photo below). Workers are said to have already begun training, and it is believed that the store could effectively be ready to go by the middle of the month, though when exactly it will open is a matter of speculation.
Switzerland ISP neutrality
Following closely on dissent towards Comcast and AT&T – two firms that supply internet service, but lack a stance of network data neutrality – the Electronic Frontier Foundation has unveiled Switzerland, a new ISP testing tool that detects blocked communications. Comcast is accused of blocking peer-to-peer networking software, such as BitTorrent, without citing the practice in its license agreement or making any other mention of it whatsoever. The action counters the neutral stance put forth by the FCC in its 2005 "Internet Policy Statement."
Swiss iPhone demo booth
Photos have already been made available of an iPhone 3G demonstration booth, a French-language site observes. The images are said to have been taken inside a store in Lausanne, Switzerland this afternoon, and show a lone 3G sitting in the new rounded dock design, but tethered to an anti-theft cable. The phone is also on and running, but does not appear to be fully activated. Official sales are scheduled to begin on Friday, July 11th. Swiss carriers will include Orange and Swisscom.
iPhone 3G hotspot access
Policies for iPhone 3G access to carrier Wi-Fi should vary dramatically around the world, reports say. While carriers such as AT&T and Rogers Wireless have committed to free hotspot access with a subscription, other countries may not hold this policy in common. Vodafone Italy now admits that it will not be offering any free access, and Orange Switzerland says this will be limited to 100 hours per month.
Swiss iPhone 3G prices
Swisscom has announced its plans for the iPhone 3G, according to company PR. With the launch of the device on July 11th, Swiss customers will have access to three two-year subscription plans, in three different sizes: piccolo, mezzo and grande. At the piccolo level people will pay 249 CHF for an 8GB phone, or 349 CHF for 16GB; this costs 25 CHF per month, and is limited to a 0.70 CHF hourly voice rate and just 100MB of data per month.
Apple fighting Swiss levy
Apple is resisting a blank media levy imposed by the Swiss government, according to local newspaper Basler Zeitung. The levy is managed by SUISA, the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors of Musical Works, and is intended to compensate labels and musicians for the effect of piracy. It applies to all media players sold in the country, but Apple is said to be arguing for exemption, on the basis that Swiss iPods sold online are actually shipped out of Ireland.