The British government is considering a proposal to give iPads to prison inmates so that they can continue their education when confined to their cells, and also keep in touch with family members via FaceTime and Skype.
The Telegraph reports that the recommendation was made by an adviser to the Ministry of Justice, and is being considered by Justice Minister Michael Gove. A spokesman said that the government wanted to improve educational opportunities so that prisoners were less likely to re-offend following their release.
There does appear to be some support for the idea …
Apple, Google & Microsoft called out on “pretend” overseas tax arrangements by Citizens for Tax Justice
Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Apple, Google and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.
Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.
The group said that Apple has paid “a miniscule 2.3 percent tax rate on its offshore profits,” many of which have been entered into Apple’s books in Ireland. CTJ says that if Apple paid U.S. tax rates on those profits, it would owe $59.2 billion.
The controversy over the legitimacy of Apple’s overseas tax arrangements is not, of course, anything new …
Any UK readers planning to buy an Apple Watch this week may want to hold out until Friday, when it goes on sale in 37 branches of the department store John Lewis. The company offers free extended warranties on the electronic items it sells, ranging from two years for small items to five years for TVs. The Apple Watch is likely to be offered with the same two-year warranty as iPads.
Although EU law declares that almost all products sold in the UK have to be offered with a minimum two-year warranty, and some have successfully used this to make claims from Apple Stores after the company’s own one-year warranty has expired, it’s always likely to be less hassle claiming from a company that explicitly promises it.
The news follows shortly after Currys/PC World announced on its website that it would be selling the Apple Watch “soon.” Apple’s wider roll-out of the Watch beyond its own retail stores and selected upmarket launch partners began with Best Buy in the U.S., the same chain in Canada and then other chains in Australia, France and Germany.
Apple Pay is going international starting with the United Kingdom next month. The precise nature of how Apple Pay will work in the UK has been murky, with banks saying different things. Apple has now posted a FAQ to explain the situation.
Apple Pay will work with any current contactless reader. By default, it uses the same technology as other UK contactless cards. This means that performing an Apple Pay purchase will not require a PIN (as is standard with UK Chip and PIN payments). However, the usual £20 limit on contactless transactions does apply … for the time being. When Apple Pay launches in July, almost all merchants will only allow Apple Pay purchases up to £20 …
The chairman of the British music industry lobby group UK Music says that independent labels may not agree to Apple’s terms for inclusion on Apple Music. Andy Heath told the Telegraph that receiving no payment during the free trial period could leave indies, which include big-name artists like Adele and the Arctic Monkeys, “completely screwed.”
Heath said that while Apple’s argument is that it will pay slightly more once the free trial is over, smaller labels may be concerned that they will see fewer download sales during the free trial – and that this could put smaller companies out of business.
If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business. Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.
While this argument wouldn’t apply to big-name artists signed to indie labels, some of them have in the past taken a stand against terms they consider unfair, such as the low payments from Spotify’s free members. Adele famously refused to allow her hit album 21 to appear on Spotify until long after its release …
The recently released 12-inch MacBook will be available for purchase at all Apple Stores globally beginning the week of May 25th, according to a memo from Apple to its retail staff issued earlier today. Because of supply constraints, not unlike those for the also recently-launched Apple Watch, sales of the new MacBook have been mostly restricted to Apple’s Online Store…
In line with our report from earlier this month, Apple today launched its first trade-in program for non-iPhones in its Apple Retail Stores. The program allows users of select Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry phones to bring in their devices and receive credit toward the immediate purchase of a new iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus (but not an Apple Watch). Apple first launched its standard iPhone Reuse and Recycle trade-in program in 2013, and the company expanded the feature to the iPad last year. Apple made today’s announcement on the individual retail store pages, indicating that the program is so far now available in the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy, and multiple retail sources say that the program has indeed gone live today. A version of the iPhone trade-in program that does not support non-iPhones is launching this week in China.
UK Safari users have been given the go-ahead to sue Google for continuing to drop cookies on their devices even after they had refused permission through their browser settings.
It was revealed in 2012 that Google bypassed the setting in Safari which instructed sites not to drop cookies, enabling it to deliver personalized ads. The FTC in the US fined the company $22.5M for the practice, with millions more in additional fines levied by 38 US states. There was no government action in the UK, but a group of British iPhone users took Google to court, seeking compensation for breaching their privacy.
Google had attempted to have the case dismissed, claiming that there was no case to answer as the plaintiffs had not suffered any financial harm, but the UK’s Court of Appeal has rejected this argument, allowing the case to proceed …
In an interview with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, Tim Cook said that while people might see limited reasons to want an Apple Watch today, they will soon find lots of other uses for it. The interview took place during a London stop in Cook’s international tour.
This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons.
One of those reasons, he said, would be to replace your car keyfob …
Tim Cook’s international tour continues. After visiting BILD, Chancellor Angela Merkel and an Apple Store in Germany, and President Reuven Rivlin in Israel, he was photographed today in the Apple Store in London’s Covent Garden.
The Apple Maps Connect service, which allows small businesses to add their listings to the Apple Maps database, has been expanded to Canada, France and Germany. The service has also gained two new language options, French and German, to correspond with the regional expansion.
Apple first launched Maps Connect in the U.S. last October, enabling businesses to edit or add listings, as well as set up indoor mapping within selected areas. Entries made by businesses typically show up in Apple Maps around a week later. The international rollout began last month with the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Singapore.
Apple switched from Google Maps to its own mapping service on iCloud.com in December. Apple-leased camera cars have been spotted recently, with some suggesting that they are being used to add Street View style images to Apple Maps, while others believe they are part of the Apple Car project.
Apple has notified Apple Maps Connect for Small Businesses users that the service has expanded beyond the United States into the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Singapore. As we detailed in October of last year, Apple Maps Connect is a web-based tool for businesses to either add or edit their listings to the Apple Maps database. The site is also used to bolster Apple’s indoor mapping data for future iOS Maps features. Thanks, Matt!
Brits waiting impatiently for Apple Pay to launch in the UK may not have too much longer to wait, reports the Telegraph. Sources involved in talks taking place between Apple and “Britain’s top banks” have stated that the service is expected to launch in the UK in the first half of 2015.
Apple’s apparent trend of expanding its R&D efforts beyond Cupertino continues with the announcement of a “large research and development facility” in Japan.
Major United Kingdom-based carrier O2 is teasing the upcoming iPhone 6 launch(es) with a humorous newspaper ad today. The ad is fairly self-explanatory. But to fill in the blanks, the new iPhone will debut at the September 9th Apple event and at least some models will likely become available on September 19th. The bigger, 5.5-inch phone is seeing some delays, and that model possibly won’t hit the streets until later in the month or even October. As for the name, the general consensus is either “iPhone 6” or “iPhone Air.” Thanks to The Verge‘s Tom Warren for bringing the ad to our attention.
In honor of the Bank holiday in the United Kingdom, Apple is offering five Newsstand magazine issues per day at no charge. The deal started today (August 18th) and lasts through August 22nd…
This morning, Apple announced a new iTunes Festival for the United Kingdom, featuring over sixty bands, for September. The iTunes Festival app has now been updated to relay this information and exhibits the design style and iconography for the 2014 show. Because this is a UK show, the app is only available in the UK iTunes Store.
Currently, the app doesn’t feature much content — simply linking out to the iTunes Store app to enter the raffle for tickets. When the 2014 iTunes Festival starts, the app will stream the gigs alongside other related content. The festival will also be shown on Apple TV.
The app was last updated earlier this year for the corresponding 2014 show in the US.
Everything Everywhere, a 50/50 joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom, has launched the UK’s first 4G network today, citing speeds “typically ten times faster” than broadband. The 4G service is now available in 11 cities: Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Southampton. The rollout across the UK will continue 2,000 square miles every month to cover 98% of the country’s population by 2014, the company announced.
4G data plans on EE will start monthly at 500MB for £36, 1GB for £41, 3GB for £46, 5GB for £51, and 8GB for £56. There are six compatible phones that customers can purchase at T-Mobile and Orange stores to use on EE, and as announced last month the iPhone 5 is one of them, along with the iPad mini and 4th gen iPad in mid-November. 4G service will also be available in the UK from Vodafone, O2 and Three in May 2013, after dealing with government regulation.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee discussed the rollout: “But this is just the start as our 4G network will continue to grow stronger and wider by the day. We’re investing £1.5 billion in our network to be the first company to offer mobile 4G in the UK, alongside the biggest 3G network.”
Additionally EE launched 700 retail stores today, offering a place for customers to buy handsets and sign contracts for the 4G network. EE is calling it “one of the biggest and fastest transformations in UK retail history.”
Research firm Gartner just released its estimates for PC shipments in the Western Europe region during the holiday quarter, and only Apple and Asus made any meaningful progress, with Apple recording the strongest gains in France and the United Kingdom.
While the Mac maker remained absent from the Top 5 rankings in Western Europe and Germany, it was a sole first-tier PC brand to grow sales in the United Kingdom during the holiday quarter. Specifically, Apple’s Mac business in the country grew 17.2 percent, enough to rank fourth with a 9.1 percent market share.
Everyone else’s business shrunk: Hewlett-Packard (No. 1) was down 27 percent, Dell (No. 4) declined by a whopping 32.2-percent, Toshiba (No. 3) fell 5.4-percent and Acer (No. 5) was by far the biggest loser with a 62.4-percent year-over-year decline. The same story is in France where Apple placed No. 5 by growing 15.3-percent for an 8.2-percent market share. Only Asus (No. 2) grew slightly faster than Apple at 17.4-percent, while shipments of PC desktops and notebooks from HP, Acer, and Dell plummeted.
If you include the iPad, Apple easily beats its rivals to the PC punch across the board.
More notes and charts are after the break.
Shipments of notebook and desktop PCs in the United Kingdom. Source: Gartner, February 2012
With just two weeks of sales, iPhone 4S steals Android market share in the UK as iOS becomes bestselling smartphone platform in October
A recent survey conducted by GoodMobilePhones.co.uk of 1,694 Brits aged 18 and over made waves with claims that as much as 22 percent of U.K. owners regret the purchase of iPhone 4S over battery life and jealousy of rival smartphones. What happened instead, research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech claims, was that the device went on to steal Android market share in the United Kingdom.
According to the findings of the research note, Apple’s U.K. handset market share in the quarter leading up to the end of October climbed to 27.8 percent, a 2.8 percentage point increase, while Android dropped from 49.9 percent to 46 percent. Looking only at October sales, Apple won a cool 42.8 percent of all handset sales during the month versus 35 percent of October sales for Android phones…