iPad trade-in program
First this week, Apple launched its iPad trade-in program in a handful of international locations. Now, customers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain can take advantage of the program, we explained recently.
Much like Apple’s in-store iPhone trade-in program, the more recent iPad trade-in program – which first launched in the United States and Canada on Earth Day last month – allows iPad owners to trade their tablet in at an Apple Retail Store in order to receive credit off a subsequent purchase.
Though the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display aren’t yet eligible to be traded-in, Apple has noted that it’s accepting the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, and first-generation iPad mini.
In our article, we added:
If you’re looking for actual cash for a used iPad, you’ll have to go elsewhere as Apple Stores only offer gift cards to use at a retail location. Some other alternatives include Gazelle, NextWorth, and Glyde.
Our annual iPad trade-in guides can help customers on this front, too.
Apple, on the other hand, launched its iPhone trade-in program in the United States back in August; the program then arrived in Britain some months later, it appeared in Canada during the month of March, and it launched in Germany last month, in April.
Italy and IAPs
Also this week, an Italian regulator announced that it’s set to investigate Apple, Google, and Amazon concerning the use of in-app purchases (IAPs) in their respective app stores. Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority also noted that it’ll be investigating Gameloft, the French developer-publisher famous for bringing so-called “freemium” games to the App Store, over the course of the coming year.
In a statement, the regulator said:
Consumers could be led to think, contrary to reality, that a game is completely free and therefore they don’t know ahead of time the game’s true cost. It appears also that there is a lack of information regarding how to exclude or limit the possibility of making a purchase inside the app.
Though free to download and play, freemium apps encourage users to pay for in-app upgrades (“smurfberries,” anyone?) in order to enhance the gaming experience made available. Countless children, in particular, have racked up high iTunes bills through making unauthorized in-app purchases on a parent’s iOS device.
Apple is now warning customers about IAPs in its App Store, but for Italy, this may not be enough. The regulator should complete its investigation by the end of the year; we’ll keep you posted with any significant conclusions.
Market share in Japan
Finally, this week saw significant news concerning Apple’s share of Japan’s smartphone market surface online. We heard that during the first quarter of 2014, Apple’s share of Japan’s market hit an all-time high of 36.6 percent – a feat credited in part to Cupertino’s iPhone deal with the country’s biggest carrier, NTT DoCoMo.
Our original article explained: “Cupertino indeed holds a 36.6 percent share of the Japanese market, and this increased from last year’s share of 25.5 percent, according to MM Research Institute (a Tokyo-based research firm).”
Over the past fiscal year, Apple reportedly shipped a huge 14.43 million iPhone handsets in Japan.
In last week’s edition of AppAdvice International, we explained how Doug Beck – Apple’s chief of sales in Japan – is now switching to oversee North America. As we said at the time, “it seems Cupertino is hoping the sales chief can work his magic over on Apple’s home turf.”
Given that Apple’s share of the U.S. smartphone market dropped during the first three months of 2014, such a move doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
See also: AppAdvice Daily: Today We Focus On The Best New Apps Of The Week, AppAdvice App Of The Week For May 19, 2014, and Steve Jobs Biographer Says Apple Wants Beats’ Iovine To Run Video Content Service.