Apple has implemented improved reservation procedures and policies for employees dealing with the iPhone 6 launch today at retail stores, but the launch at the company’s Hong Kong store hasn’t gone quite as smooth as elsewhere. The store was hit by protesters from the Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and also required police to help disperse customers that had waited in line without reservations.
Tens of thousands of people across Asia rose very early – or got no sleep at all – today as they flocked to Apple stores and telcos’ shops to try grab an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) newest phones hit only 10 countries today for the first wave of launches, of which just four are in the Asia-Pacific region – Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. Those who could not grab an iPhone 6 when pre-orders opened last week hit the streets early in the hope of getting one before stocks run out. Some camped out overnight.
For iPhone users who found Apple’s default iOS keyboard too finicky, the company’s allowance of third-party keyboards for iOS 8 marked a cause for celebration. But while English speakers (or perhaps more accurately, Romance language speakers) are going gaga over SwiftKey and Fleksy for iPhone, in China, people are flocking to keyboards offered up by domestic giants Baidu and Sogou.
Foreign chipset suppliers have placed follow-up orders for chips to be used in iPhone 6 devices with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), extending order visibility of foundry houses to the first quarter of 2015, according to industry sources. Some analog IC suppliers indicated that Apple aims to ship 80-100 million units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, and initial response to the new iPhone devices seems to be enthusiastic and could gain momentum.
TAIPEI–Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan’s largest mobile operator, reported heavy demand for Apple Inc.’s new smartphone models on Tuesday, saying that the first batch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus put up for pre-sale “ordered out” within 40 minutes. The online campaign began at 10 a.m., and many Apple fans said on Facebook that they had difficulty placing their orders and were told by the website to “try later.”
SINGAPORE, Sept 15 — Local telcos StarHub and SingTel have released prices for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, following M1’s release last week. Under Starhub’s new 4G 3 subscription plan which will cost subscribers S$42.90 (RM109.10) per month, prices will range from S$518 for a 16GB iPhone 6 to S$935 for a 128GB iPhone 6 Plus. Starhub’s booking site will open this afternoon for customers who registered their interest last week.
TOKYO: Apple’s proud announcement that its new iPhone could be used to buy goods in a single swipe left customers non-plussed in Japan, where mobile contactless payments have been normal fare for a decade. A type of Near Field Communication (NFC) chip, known in Japan as FeliCa, was introduced to the Japanese mobile market in June 2004 and has been been implanted in almost all phones sold in the country since.
Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement drew some disappointment in mainland China, when consumers learned that the country wouldn’t be among the first markets to receive the product. “They assemble the product in China, but don’t release it here first?” posted one Chinese Internet user on a local news portal. Other online users declared they would visit Hong Kong, where the iPhone 6 will go on sale on Sept. 19, the same date consumers in the U.S. can buy it. But some even called for a boycott of Apple products, citing the delay. “They are obviously looking down upon China. Let’s all boycott Apple,” wrote one user on the Chinese Twitter-like site Sina Weibo.
The new iPhone 6 models didn’t get a simultaneous release in China this year, which has already created a lucrative grey market for Apple’s hit smartphones. China still doesn’t have an official release date, and some Apple fans are buying grey market units for up to RMB 30,000 (US$4,890), according to Techweb. The average grey market price for the Hong Kong and US versions is over RMB 10,000 (US$1,630).
TOKYO: It may still be several days before they can even order a new iPhone and more than a week until they can pick it up, but dedicated fans in Japan have already begun queuing. In a country known for taking its hobbies extremely seriously, Apple acolytes in Tokyo began bagging their spots on the pavement days before the world knew what the California tech giant had up its sleeve.
As expected, the new iPhone 6 is larger – and it comes in two variants, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. They both launch in selected countries on September 19. But in Asia-Pacific, only Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore get the two new devices during the first wave of launches, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed this morning. In all those eligible countries, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders commence on September 12.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — As global markets await the unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 6 handset, reports indicate that analysts are expecting TSMC to secure manufacturing orders for the U.S.-based company’s upcoming A9 processor that is slated to power next year’s iPhone handset. Given its status as the bellwether of the smartphone sector, the contest to secure manufacturing orders for the processor powering each year’s iPhone handset has become the most important battle for semiconductor companies worldwide.
BEIJING: Apple Inc has a lot for which to thank people like Deng. A Beijing-based quality analyst, she gave only her surname as she’s embarrassed by how much money she spends playing mobile games on WeChat, a hugely popular messaging app developed by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Thegioididong.com reported on Tuesday that during the program there will be one lucky customer awarded a 60% discount for iPhone 6 and 10 other people will enjoy a reduction of VND1.6 million apiece a day. The website forecast iPhone 6 would appear on the Vietnamese market in October and that it would stop taking new orders by then. Apple has not confirmed the official launch of iPhone 6. However, it has sent out invitations to the media for a launching ceremony on September 9. Some foreign electronics media asserted Apple would present iPhone 6 and iWatch on the same day.
Despite related components already entering into production, Apple’s iWatch is still unlikely to become available until 2015, as the device is still under engineering verification testing (EVT) stage and has to still go through production verification testing (PVT), according to sources from the upstream supply chain. The sources pointed out that a product will need to first pass the PVT stage before entering to mass production, and between the EVT and PVT stages, Apple could still be change its design.
Chinese web giant Baidu has released a new report documenting the rise of smart mobile devices in China. The Q2 2014 Mobile Internet Trends (PDF) report shows smart device penetration rose to 30 percent of China’s population, triple the rate from just two years ago. That being said, the growth rate diminished last quarter. Android’s firm hold on the market has only grown stronger. Baidu says Android has 79 percent market share in China, up from 73 percent one year earlier. iOS, meanwhile, actually dipped slightly from 13 percent to 12 percent.
China Telecom said all iPhone 6 units the company will sell will be unlocked and may be used on all wireless networks in China. China Telecom is the third largest telecommunications company in China, following China Mobile and China Unicom. At the moment, iPhone units being sold by China Telecom only accept SIM cards issued by the company. China Telecom’s early 4S to most recent 5S models only run under their 3G CDMA2000 network and 2G CDMA network.
iPhone camera supplier OmniVision Technologies said that the company has received a cash acquisition proposal from a Chinese investment consortium led by Hua Capital Management Ltd. According to media reports, the consortium offered to buy OmniVision for USD29 per share in cash for a total value of USD167 million, which represents a premium of 17.9% to the company’s closing price last Wednesday.
Only about 10 percent of Myanmar’s population have a mobile phone right now – and even fewer have a smartphone or tablet. While Myanmar is an exciting, new, and sizable market, it’s still very early days. One startup based in Yangon is keen on gaining traction in this formative stage. A team of app developers recently released its first educational iPad app, called Phew (pictured above). It’s designed to help kids learn how to write the mellifluously flowing characters of the Burmese language. The Brahmic script, like Thai or Tibetan, is quite hard to write.
BEIJING: Apple Inc has begun storing personal data for some Chinese users on servers provided by China Telecom, marking the first time that the company has stored user data on mainland Chinese soil. Apple attributed the move to an effort to improve the speed and reliability of its service. It also represents a departure from the policies of some technology companies, notably Google Inc, which has long refused to build data centres in China due to censorship and privacy concerns.