iPhone faces challenge in crowded Chinese marketplace (TheDay)
The iPhone’s magic as China’s must-have smartphone is eroding. Last year, eager buyers in Beijing waited overnight in freezing weather to buy the iPhone 4S. Pressure to get it – and the profit to be made by reselling scarce phones – prompted some to pelt the store with eggs when Apple, worried about the size of the crowd, postponed opening. Just 18 months later, many Chinese gadget lovers responded with a shrug this week when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled two new versions of the iPhone 5. Today’s market is glutted with alternatives from Samsung to local brands.
T-Mobile, AT&T Unveil Installment-Plan Prices for New IPhones (Bloomberg)
T MOBILE US INC (NYSE:TMUS) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), touting their new installment-plan approach to mobile-phone pricing, will both offer Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone 5C for zero down, followed by monthly payments of $22. T-Mobile will require 24 months of payments at that rate, the Bellevue, Washington-based company said on its website. AT&T’s installment plan will only last 20 months, though its service prices start at a higher rate. The higher-end iPhone 5S will sell for $99 down and $22.91 a month at T-Mobile, while AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) will offer it for zero down and 20 monthly payments of $27.
Apple India may miss $1 billion revenue target as rupee weakens (LiveMint)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may fall tantalizingly short of its target of $1billion (around Rs.6,400 crore) in annual revenue from India this year because of the rupee’s depreciation against the dollar and delayed shipments of some products to the world’s second largest phone market, where its iPhone is battling competition from cheaper smart phones. Top executives at Apple’s Indian unit had been preparing to celebrate the $1 billion milestone before the rupee’s continued weakness dimmed its prospects of achieving the target.
Apple fires biometrics into the mainstream (SolarNews)
By adding a fingerprint scanner to its newest mobile phone, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is offering a tantalizing glimpse of a future where your favorite gadget might become a biometric pass to the workplace, mobile commerce, or real-world shopping and events. Although Apple’s executives said at Tuesday’s launch that its Touch ID technology embedded into the iPhone 5S’ home button would only provide fingerprint access to the phone and its own online stores, analysts said Apple’s embrace of such technology, called biometrics, would be key to wider adoption.
Apple Supplier Plans $2 Billion IPO (WSJ)
You may not have heard of Japan Display Inc., but the Tokyo-based company is a supplier of displays used in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) +1.05%’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal Friday the Japanese company is planning to go public, aiming to raise $2 billion. The IPO is expected to occur by March on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and value it at about $7 billion. Japan Display, which began operations in 2012, was created out of a three-way merger among the display operations of major Japanese electronics makers – Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) -0.33%, Toshiba Corp.6502.TO -0.98% and Hitachi Ltd.6501.TO +0.32%.