Talk about a busy week! First, Apple announced new iPads, and more specifically, an iPad Air and an iPad mini with Retina display. Then the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched in additional countries, with even more rumored to follow next month. From here, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak publicly condemned the British press; and finally, Apple’s costly new smartphones don’t seem to be faring well in India.
All of this, and more, features in the present edition of AppAdvice International. Sit back, relax, and read on.
Apple’s new iPads
It’s good news for our international readers as Apple’s iPad Air is set to launch in a large number of countries on Nov. 1.
Rather than replicating the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch, the refreshed 9.7-inch tablet will be available in an impressive 42 countries around the world – as per our hypothesis, which we presented in last week’s edition of AppAdvice International.
As outlined in a press release published by Apple, the iPad Air launch countries include:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao (Wi-Fi models only), Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Apple has also confirmed that in the countries listed above, its iPad Air will go on sale at 8 a.m. local time in Apple Retail Stores. Carrier stores and retailers should announce their own individual opening times, and as such it’s worth making a couple of calls before planning your iPad Air launch day expedition.
The iPad mini, on the other hand, might have received a Retina display but so far it has no confirmed release date.
Instead, Apple notes that the second-generation 7.9-inch tablet is set to launch “later in November,” which of course could be as late as Nov. 30 – a possible release date that wouldn’t leave much time for holiday gift orders to be fulfilled.
This could prove problematic for international readers planning on ordering the iPad mini with Retina display online for a holiday gift. I say international readers, in particular, because Apple Online Store orders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c placed in countries outside of the United States on Sept. 20 took significantly longer to arrive – even if the order was completed at 12:01 a.m. local time.
Furthermore, with second-generation iPad mini supplies persistently said to be “constrained,” it could be that those dedicated (and brave) enough to queue may also face disappointment later in November.
Of course, at this point we’re dealing with mere speculation, but the situation doesn’t look promising. Could this be part of Apple’s design to drive iPad Air sales ahead of the holidays?
More iPhone launch dates
Launch dates for Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c aren’t going to dominate every edition of AppAdvice International, but this week it’s worth reminding our readers that an additional release date is scheduled for Nov. 1 (the same day Apple’s iPad Air launches in a number of territories).
Countries included are:
Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Colombia, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, India, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.
Particularly interesting, however, is our belief that Apple is planning a fourth – and, as of this writing, unannounced – launch date for Nov. 15. Furthermore, a number of websites appear to have agreed with our original speculation.
As we explained yesterday, carriers in the Philippines have announced that they’ll be offering both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c from Nov. 15. After checking on last year’s iPhone 5 launch and checking-off countries grouped with the Philippines which have already received the handsets, we’re expecting the new smartphones to launch in some or all of the following countries on Nov. 15:
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, South Africa, and Venezuela.
It could be that a number of further territories receive the new handsets on Nov. 15, too. We’ll let you know once Apple makes an official announcement concerning the above.
Steve Wozniak hates the British press
It’s been a rough time for the British press this past year – and deservedly so, what with the dreadful phone-hacking scandal and resultant Leveson Inquiry.
Now, however, the charismatic Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has made his opinion on Britain’s media known in an interview with aNewDomain. Defending himself against reports claiming that Wozniak had criticized Apple’s iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, Woz explained his opinion and went on to note that the British media is “the worst in the world for mischaracterizing what I say.”
In this particular instance, two publications – TechRadar and Macworld UK – are guilty of taking what Wozniak said out of context.
Though the former published a piece noting that Woz had announced that the new iPads “aren’t for him,” Macworld UK took a step towards the ludicrous and noted that Wozniak had embarked upon an “iPad bashing rant” at London’s Apps World conference.
Steve Wozniak’s reply? Here you go:
I’m sure I even started this interview, before a single question, (by) telling them that this was my feeling and experience with (UK) press but … I’d answer questions and be honest (in the interview) anyway. Some of the headlines (I saw as a result of that first interview) were very wrong — saying that I did not like the new iPad or (that I) didn’t think highly of it … though the headlines on the (UK and other) articles … make such a determination sound correct at first glance.
Handbags at dawn!
Though we already know that Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c aren’t faring well in China, a one-time “perfect market” for the latter handset, it looks like India – the world’s second-largest smartphone market – isn’t set to be impressed with either model, when both go on sale on Nov. 1.
This is because like China, India’s iPhone pricing is absurd: due to the unsubsidized nature of smartphone contracts in the country, along with the absence of official Apple Retail Stores, Apple’s iPhones are costing the equivalent of $1,000 in the developing nation. ZDNet has the report:
What many people outside of India may not realize is that Apple doesn’t have any official Apple stores or vendors across India to begin with. Basically, their products are picked up by merchants who are willing to stock their shelves with Apple products, and usually, these are high end retailers in malls. Walk into any of the mobile shops in the bazaars and markets in New Delhi, and very rarely, you’ll find an Apple product. Instead, they’re stocked up with India-made Nokia and Samsung devices, which sell really well, along with Indian devices too.
Though Apple has a “loyal following” in the country, the prices for its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c – the former costing as much as $1,163, and the latter up to $871 – are having a killer effect on Apple’s share of the Indian smartphone market.
For Apple to succeed in China, India, and other developing nations offering large smartphone markets, it’s clear that iPhone prices will need to be reduced. Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c go on sale in India on Nov. 1; we’ll let you know how the handsets fare.
Apple Retail Store in Brazil
Brazil is set to receive its first Apple Retail Store – and in time for the FIFA World Cup, too, if the construction goes to plan.
The original news claimed that the new Apple Store will be located in a retail mall in Rio de Janeiro (pictured below). Citing a reliable source, the website noted that Apple is aiming to open the new Apple Retail Store between February and March next year, “but delays due to construction and staffing are always possible.”
The original article continues:
The source says that Apple’s retail expansion into South America is a high priority, and the company will begin seeking Apple retail employees from its U.S. stores to relocate to Rio de Janeiro for several months in the first half of 2014. Apple is said to want the U.S. employees to work in the new store in order to demonstrate and teach Apple’s retail practices. These America-based employees will also serve as temporary employees that can assist customers during this time period.
The website adds that another source claims Apple had planned on launching the store in July this year, but due to staffing problems this target has obviously been missed by a long way. The Cupertino, Calif. company hopes that it won’t see a repeat situation occur in the forthcoming months, but as with all Apple Retail Store launches, delays are always a possibility.
Apple’s China Mobile deal
Finally, it looks like a China Mobile iPhone deal could be in the cards for as soon as Nov. 9. In a poster advertising its 4G LTE network, the largest carrier in China – which, in turn, is the largest smartphone market – appeared to depict iPhone handsets alongside an announcement for the network’s Nov. 9-11 launch.
Mounting evidence has suggested that a China Mobile iPhone deal is indeed in the cards. This has included China Mobile iPhone posters (which appeared online), news of a licensing agreement reached between Apple’s iPhone and China Mobile’s wireless standard, as mentioned above, and countless further speculative reports published by influential publications such as The Wall Street Journal, among others. Though rumors of the deal date as far back as 2009, of course.
Most recently, Apple published a job post online advertising for a Beijing-based wireless expert, with knowledge of China Mobile’s TD-LTE wireless band, among others. As we explained in our original article:
In a move further indicative of its impending iPhone deal with China Mobile, Apple has posted a job advertisement seeking a Beijing-based engineer able to “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones,” and who possesses a sound knowledge of China Mobile’s wireless standard.
The launch of Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in China coupled with a potential China Mobile deal could see Apple’s share of the country’s smartphone market double by 2014, one analyst argues.
Of course, we’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
That’s all for this week’s edition of AppAdvice International. Remember, our weekly column is published Tuesdays at 10 a.m. GMT. Check back with us next week, and in the meantime feel free to send any tips for our forthcoming editions to [email protected]
See also: Today’s Best Apps: Grackles And Grenades, I Feel Brave And Tales Of Terror: Crimson Dawn, AppAdvice App Of The Week For Oct. 28, 2013, and Look At Your Task List With A New Perspective With Gneo.