Digi Times — Sales of high-end smartphones are decelerating, affecting orders for ICs and other parts and components, according to sources from Taiwan-based IC design houses. Apple and Samsung have both seen disappointing sales of their flagship models while Huawei has reportedly cut its 2016 shipment goal to 120-130 million units from 140 million due to poor sales of its high-end models, said the sources.
Tech in Asia — China just beat Japan to take second position for global revenue from iPhone and iPad apps, a new report says. The US is still the king of iOS app revenue generation in Q1 2016, according to App Annie (PDF link). However, China’s snapping at its heels, with a 2.2 times growth year-on-year that made it move up a notch since January.
Times of India — BEIJING: Apple confirmed Friday its iTunes Movies and iBooks service have become unavailable in China, after reports authorities ordered them to be taken offline. “We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” a spokeswoman for Apple, the US technology giant, said in a statement.
Singapore’s StarHub has introduced the ability for its customers to use Apple Pay for secure mobile payments. When customers use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the device. Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.
IT News — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has assured law enforcement across the United States that it will help unlock mobile devices such as iPhones involved in investigations when it is allowed by law and policy. The FBI said in a letter to local authorities that it understands the challenges they face and that they lack necessary tools to monitor and investigate the communications of suspects who use encrypted mobile devices, according to the correspondence obtained by Reuters on Friday.
ZDNet — The traditional Chinese New Year ending in February in 2016 — when major promotions always kick in to boost sales — has led to something different this year, with Apple’s iPhone market share eroded by 3.2 percentage points. This also marks the first drop for the iPhone in the country since August 2014, according to research by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Add this to the list of things you can do with WeChat: buy Apple gadgets. Tencent’s messaging-app-cum-everything-platform announced Wednesday that support for WeChat Pay has been added to Apple’s official online stores in China. That means that you can now use WeChat pay for all of your Apple gadget and accessory needs.
Times of India — Apple Inc will integrate Apple Pay with its Safari browser later this year, allowing users to make purchases from mobile websites, technology website Re/code reported, citing sources. The mobile payments system will be available to shoppers who use iPhone and iPad models that have the company’s fingerprint technology, Re/code reported.
Times of India— KOLKATA: The Apple-Samsung war in India is set to intensify and spill over to the streets and malls. The maker of the iPhone plans to set up a flagship Apple Store in the country — on the lines of the famous one on Fifth Avenue in New York — and a string of smaller outlets. Leading real estate brokerage companies are already scouting for 15,000-20,000 square feet on high streets and in malls, prompting rival Samsung Electronics to look for space to set up a similar flagship outlet and revamp its existing 1,100 smartphone brand stores.
Vietnam Net — The new facility is scheduled to operate as a Research & Development (R&D) centre of the firm. This will be the first project Apple has ever initiated in Vietnam. The project is currently still in the planning stage. Apple is considering locations for the facility, possibly in Hanoi, according to baodautu.vn.
Tech in Asia — If you’re a smartphone company – even a big, successful one – looking to get into the Chinese market with your own mobile payments system, here’s a piece of advice: don’t. Over the last month, we’ve seen Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and even Huawei Payenter mainland China. There are reports that Xiaomi, ZTE, and Lenovo are working on their own services as well.
Channel News Asia — Channel News Asia — REUTERS: The first known ransomware attack on Apple Inc’s Mac computers, which was discovered over the weekend, was downloaded more than 6,000 times before the threat was contained, according to a developer whose product was tainted with the malicious software. Hackers infected Macs with the “KeRanger” ransomware through a tainted copy of Transmission, a popular programme for transferring data through the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing network.
Apple customers were targeted by hackers over the weekend in the first campaign against Mac computers using ransomware, researchers with Palo Alto Networks have revealed. Ransomware encrypts data on infected machines, then typically asks users to pay ransoms in hard-to-trace digital currencies to get an electronic key so they can retrieve their data.
Daze Info — The exploded adoption of smartphones has allowed manufacturers to embrace many mobile based solutions, most important of all being Mobile Payments. According to the latest study, titled Contactless Payments: NFC Handsets, Wearable & Payment Cards 2016-2020, from Juniper Research, the number of smartphone users making payments via their NFC based mobile payment solutions, i.e. Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, will reach 148 million in 2016.
IT News — A US appeals court has overturned a US$120 million (A$168 million) jury verdict against Samsung, handing the South Korean smartphone maker a significant win in its longstanding patent feud with top rival Apple. The court said Samsung did not infringe Apple’s “quick links” patent, and that two other patents covering the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid. The court also said Apple was liable for infringing one of Samsung’s patents.
China Money Network — Apple Pay, which added over 30 million bank cards during its first day in China last week, agreed to lower fee standards and stricter security requirements in order to launch its services in China. According to an article published by Caixin Media, Apple is charging Chinese banks around half of the 0.15% fee previously under negotiation before its entry, meaning the percentage Apple Pay charges in China may be under 0.075%.
Times of India — BEIJING – Apple Inc. on Thursday launched its smartphone-based payment system in China where the electronic payments market is already dominated by an arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba. Apple said “Apple Pay” could be used by 19 banks, “numerous merchants” and app developers. Apple’s electronic payment system started in the United States in October 2014 and has since spread to Britain, Canada and Australia.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Sales of iPhone declined for the first time in fourth quarter of 2015, even as global smartphone sales exhibited slowest growth since 2008. Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 403 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 9.7% increase over the same period in 2014, according to analyst and research firm Gartner. However, this was their slowest growth rate since 2008. In 2015 as a whole, smartphone sales reached 1.4 billion units, an increase of 14.4% from 2014.
Digi Times — Apple is expected to ship 9.8 million iPads in the first quarter of 2016, historically its lowest quarterly level, with decreases of 39.1% on quarter and nearly 20% on year, according to Digitimes Research. There will be an estimated 46.65 million tablets shipped globally in the first quarter of 2016, slipping 28.6% on quarter and 8.6% on year, Digitimes Research indicated.
Telecom Asia — China’s smartphone shipments grew 8% year-on-year to a record 117.3 million in the fourth quarter, despite the ongoing slowdown in the market, IDC has estimated. The solid fourth quarter results helped shipment growth reach 3% for the full year, the research firm said. Huawei was the biggest winner in the fourth quarter with both the biggest gain in shipment growth and in average selling prices.
Times of India — It’s official, technology giant Apple is opening a development centre in Hyderabad. Confirming this, the company said in a statement, “We’ve been investing to expand our operations in India and are thrilled to have passionate customers and a vibrant developer community across the country. We are looking forward to opening a new development office in Hyderabad that will be home to over 150 Apple employees supporting maps development.
Times of India — Technology giant Apple is reportedly all set to open its first technology development centre outside the United States in Hyderabad. According to a report in Zdnet, “The new centre will be built on 250,000 square feet of land in the real estate firm Tishman Speyer’s WaveRock facility at Hyderabad’s IT corridor at a cost of $25 million (Rs 150 crore).”
Apple CEO Tim Cook noted during the company’s earnings call this morning that China’s “economic softness” was becoming evident, but the slowdown apparently didn’t hurt Apple much its Q1 2016 financials (which cover a time span most other companies would consider Q4 2015).
China Tech News — Uncork the champagne, because it’s raining cash for mobile app developers in China. Apple’s chief marketing officer Phil Schiller reportedly revealed during his China visit that Apple has allocated USD5 billion App Store profit share to Chinese developers.
Times of India — SAN FRANCISCO: As red-hot sales in China show signs of cooling, Apple Inc executives are touting India’s growing appetite for iPhones. In an earnings call in which the company reported meager iPhone growth and forecast its first revenue drop in 13 years, the Indian market stood out as a rare bright spot for Apple.
ZDNet — AutoNavi Software Co., Ltd, a Beijing-based mapping company which provides data to Apple Maps in mainland China, is reported to have put its core business system in the cloud owned by technology giant Alibaba.
Enterprise Innovation — American Express (Amex) plans to make Apple Pay services available to card members in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016. Amex card members can pay with their iPhone or Apple Watch in stores where contactless payments and American Express are accepted, and within participating merchant apps.
China Tech News — Apple has established a new production lab in Taiwan which focuses on the research and development of new display technologies. The new lab is reportedly located in the building where Qualcomm developed its Mirasol display technology.
Digi Times — Apple’s new enterprise tablet, the iPad Pro did not achieve expected sales in its first month after the launch in China selling only 49,000 units, according to China-based research firm TalkingData. The device’s weak sales are believed to be the result of its high price, which starts at CNY5,888 (US$908).
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Apple cut prices of its latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus by up to 16% cent just two months after their launch in India to boost flagging sales in what is historically its most crucial quarter as demand for the flagship devices nosedived from a Diwali high. The price of the iPhone 6s 16 GB model, which was introduced at Rs 62,000 on October 16, has fallen by 11-16% and now ranges between Rs 52,000 and Rs 55,000, according to four large retailers who spoke to ET on condition of anonymity.