You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
AppAdvice International: Price Hikes, Retail Expansions, 4G Plans And Russian Officials

AppAdvice International: Price Hikes, Retail Expansions, 4G Plans And Russian Officials

April 1, 2014

App Store

We’re starting this week’s edition of AppAdvice International off with some bad news. Apple has announced that for the Australian Dollar, Indian Rupee, Indonesian Rupiah, Turkish Lira, and South African Rand prices in its App Store are increasing. The change is set to take effect in the coming hours, and a new pricing matrix has been added to iTunes Connect. Apple announced the news in an email sent to iOS developers: It’s not all bad news, though. Retail prices for the Israeli New Shekel and some price tiers for New Zealand are set to decrease, rather than increase. The news comes following a report last week claiming that tax changes in Britain could see App Store prices alter, too.


Apple’s retail expansion is continuing, and this week images of two new in-construction stores surfaced online. The first, in Hanover, is the closest to opening its doors for the general public: though we hadn’t been sure the building even was an Apple Retail Store, the recently-captured image of an illuminated Apple sign besides the building’s front door gave it away. The second store is Scotland’s worst kept secret: an Apple retail venue based in Edinburgh. Though Apple has repeatedly refused to confirm that an Apple Retail Store is opening in the capital city, a sign reading “Apple Store deliveries” recently appeared outside of the venue’s anticipated construction plot. We explained at the time:
Besides its anticipated Hanover and Edinburgh stores, Apple is also in the process of developing an iconic store in San Francisco’s Union Square, and Apple’s first retail store in Turkey is scheduled to open early next month. We also heard recently that Apple has chosen to close down its Authorized Campus Stores at higher education institutions across Canada.
The news indeed comes as Angela Ahrendts, former Burberry CEO and incoming senior vice president of Retail at Apple, is set to embark on her move to Cupertino. We’ll be continuing to monitor Apple’s international retail expansion, so check back with us.


Is 4G LTE access getting any cheaper across the pond in Britain? The answer is indeed “yes,” albeit marginally so. Carrier EE, the biggest 4G operator in the United Kingdom, has lowered the price of its 4G LTE price plans and is even throwing in its low-cost Kestrel handset free of charge for subscribers. Our article provided an overview of the tweaked plans, which start at £13.99 per month:
The £13.99 plan offers customers unlimited texts, 500 minutes of calls, and 500 MB of 4G data, and subscribers will need to sign-up to a two-year agreement in order to take advantage of the new price plan. (…) For £18.99 per month, EE customers can enjoy 1,000 minutes and 1 GB of 4G data, and a fee of £23.99 or £29.99 per month provides users with unlimited messaging, unlimited minutes, and either 2 GB or 5 GB of cellular data. All three plans also offer users a free handset, either the Alcatel Idol S or the recently announced EE Kestrel, for no upfront cost.
However, though EE is celebrating its lower priced plans, the carrier is merely matching its offerings against competitors. Carrier 3, for example, has 4G LTE price plans starting at £12.90 per month, while O2 is offering plans for the same price but for a 12-month lock-in period (rather than 24 months). The benefit of signing up with EE, though, comes in the form of its impressive 4G LTE coverage. The carrier had a head-start over its rivals in deploying 4G, and the network is aiming to supply LTE coverage for 98 percent of the country by the end of this year.


Finally this week, Russian officials have confirmed that Apple’s iPad has been ditched for Samsung-made tablets. The move has been made “to ensure tighter security,” according to Russia’s telecoms minister Nikolai Nikiforov. The new tablets are said to be “specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information,” and the switchover occurred “not so long ago.” Does the change have anything to do with sanctions imposed on Russia due to its takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula? “We are not proposing any sanctions,” Nikiforov noted, though Apple’s relationship with the National Security Agency (NSA) hasn’t left the country enthused to choose Cupertino’s products. Concerning such reports, the minister added: “This obviously orientates Russian clients, primarily state ones, to be very choosy about their partners in I.T.” AppAdvice International is a weekly recap of the international news published here at AppAdvice. The column goes live every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. GMT. See also: Production Of Apple’s 4.7-Inch iPhone To Begin Next Month, Apple’s Q2 2014 Financial Results To Be Announced On April 23, and AppAdvice Daily: Microsoft Word On Your iPad And Movie Discovery Made Easy.