by Joe White
November 12, 2013
Apple’s share of the smartphone market in Japan is shown to have rocketed, Apple Retail Stores in European and Asian countries have announced mysterious “special hours,” and a 300 Mbps 4G LTE network launched in London’s Tech City. All of this - and more - features in the latest edition of AppAdvice International. Update. In a surprise move, Apple has launched its iPad mini with Retina display in a number of international territories. We'll have more information concerning this in next week's edition of AppAdvice International. In the meantime, check on our article for more news on Apple's second-generation small-size tablet.
Japan's smartphone marketThe iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched with NTT DoCoMo, as well as with Japan’s two other major carriers, SoftBank and KDDI, back when the new smartphones became available on Sept. 20. This week, we heard that as a result, Apple’s share of the smartphone market in Japan has overtaken that of the United States - news that indeed comes as something of a surprise. In a recent report, The Wall Street Journal explains:
Sales got another boost in late September when NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest wireless carrier, began offering the iPhone for the first time to its 61.8 million customers. Even before that, the iPhone was Japan’s best-selling smartphone, with a 37% market share in the six months ended Sept. 30, according to Tokyo’s MM Research Institute. That’s comparable to the iPhone’s 36% share in the U.S. in the third quarter, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.Of course, though most of us didn’t expect Apple’s share of the Japanese smartphone market to increase by such an amount so soon, we did know that the Cupertino, Calif. company’s new iPhones were proving to be popular. Furthermore, due to the availability of both handsets will all three of Japan’s “big” carriers, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank, and KDDI subsequently began competing for iPhone customers through advertising impressive deals - one of which saw the iPhone 5s go free on contract. It’s clear that Apple’s work in the east is paramount to its continuing success, however a deal with China Mobile would further help the company grow outside of the west. Such has been long-rumored, yet as of this writing a China Mobile iPhone deal has not been announced - even though one recent advertisement suggested that the carrier could offer Apple’s smartphones from Nov. 9-11.
Apple Retail Stores closing early in international countriesBetween Nov. 15-20, Apple Retail Stores in a handful of international countries, including Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, and Spain, are set to close their doors early. More specifically, stores in Asia are scheduled to close up on Sunday, Nov. 17, while stores in Europe are seeing more sporadic “special hours.” As we explained in our original article:
Information concerning the one-off closing times for Apple Retail Stores is available to access either online, or using the Apple Store app (pictured above).For the most part, Apple Retail Stores are closing up to several hours earlier than usual. Dresden’s Apple Retail Store, however, is actually scheduled to shut for the entire day on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Incoming products, and particularly the iPad mini with Retina display (due later this month) and the refreshed Mac Pro (due in December) could have something to do with this. However, as of this writing, we’re not sure; we’ll let you know if we hear anything further, or if you have information feel free to send an email to [email protected]. Update 2. Could the launch of Apple's iPad mini with Retina display have had anything to do with the above? We're not sure, since - as of this writing - the tablet has launched in Apple Online Stores only. We'll keep you updated.
EE launches 300 Mbps 4G LTE network in London’s Tech CityBritish carrier Everything Everywhere (EE) turned proof-of-concept into reality this week, and launched a ridiculously fast LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network offering speeds of up to 300 Mbps in London’s Tech City. Furthermore, EE notes that it plans on making the speedy network available commercially next year - for now, however, a select number of partners in East London’s Tech City are able to access the service. Besides supporting smartphones and tablets, EE chief executive officer Olaf Swantee envisages that his company’s super fast network will help the rise of 4K television sets, for example. In a press release, he said:
For consumers, the future of mobile is about connecting more devices, accessing more real-time information, and sharing higher definition images and videos. The emergence of wearable technology, for example, will continue to increase consumer usage of data across multiple connected products. In consumer entertainment, ultra high definition 4K TV is the future, and LTE-A makes it possible to support that on a mobile network. BBC iPlayer streams at 5Mbps, whereas 4K TV will stream at 20Mbps, so a consistently high average speed, enabled by sufficient capacity on the network, is essential.Of course, Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own Apple HDTV product, and some of the most recent reports have argued that a 4K television set, in particular, could be in the works.