Australia


'Australia' Articles

Australian Banks Challenge Apple Over Mobile Payment App Restrictions

Three of Australia's biggest banks have lodged a joint application with anti-trust regulators to negotiate with Apple over gaining access to the NFC-based mobile payment hardware in its smartphones (via Reuters). Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac have so far resisted signing deals to use the company's Apple Pay mobile payment system, because they want their customers to be able to use digital wallets they have already financed and developed. However, none of the banks want to be accused of violating anti-competition law by negotiating deals, which is where the application comes in. If the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lets the banks collectively negotiate with Apple under the terms of the application, it would enable them to undertake "a limited form of boycott" in which they would all agree not to negotiate with Apple individually while the talks take place. Apple currently only allows its own mobile payment system to access the NFC-hardware in its iPhone devices, which banks argue is an anti-competitive restriction that hampers consumer choice. "This is about providing Australians with real choice and better outcomes," said Lance Blockley, a senior advisor at Novantas who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald on behalf of the banks. "If successful, the application would have tremendous benefits for the entire Australian mobile payments landscape including for public transport fares, airlines, ticketing, store loyalty and rewards programs and many more applications yet to be developed." Apple Pay launche

Apple Maps Gains 23 New Flyover Locations Around the World

Apple today updated its iOS feature availability page with 23 new Flyover locations around the world, including cities in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Flyover is an Apple Maps feature that provides photo-realistic 3D views of primarily large cities and landmarks. In satellite view, users can zoom, pan, and rotate to get a closer look at notable points of interest in supported regions. The full list of new Flyover locations is available below, but some areas may only now be reflected on Apple's website:A Coruña, Spain Ajaccio, France Archon, France Bastia, France Besançon, France Blackpool, England Bonifacio, France Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Calvi, France Corte, France Ghent, Belgium Guaymas, Mexico Messina, Italy Mobile, AL, United States Newcastle, Australia Nottingham, England Porto-Vecchio, France Propriano, France Raleigh, NC, United States Salamanca, Spain San Sebastián, Spain Taichung, Taiwan Wichita, KS, United StatesApple also confirmed that Maps traffic data is now available in Malaysia and Singapore in southeast Asia. Apple added 20 new Flyover locations in 12 countries last

Apple's 'Back to School' Promotion in Australia and New Zealand Offers Free Beats Headphones

Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion in Australia and New Zealand, offering higher education students, faculty members, parents of students, and select other staff a free pair of Beats Solo2 on-ear headphones with the purchase of a qualifying Mac with education pricing between February 3 and March 21. Eligible models include the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Pro, including configure-to-order versions, while the Mac mini and refurbished Macs do not qualify for the offer. The eligible Mac must be purchased from the online Apple Store for Education or by calling 133-622 in Australia or 0800-692-7753 in New Zealand. The qualifying student or faculty member will receive one pair of free Beats Solo2 on-ear headphones in Gloss Black, Gloss White, Gloss Red, or Gloss Blue, as an instant credit. Apple also offers a credit of AU$259.95 or NZ$339.95 for Beats Solo2 Wireless on-ear headphones, with the customer responsible for paying the remaining difference. Apple's "Back to School" promotion in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and elsewhere last July and August also offered students a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones with a qualifying Mac purchase. Last year, students in Australia and New Zealand were offered an Apple gift card worth between $25 and $100 with the purchase of a qualifying Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Read the terms in conditions in Australia and New Zealand for complete

Apple Pay Launches in Australia for American Express Cardholders

Apple Pay has launched in Australia in partnership with American Express, expanding iPhone-based mobile payments to a fourth country following Canada earlier this week. The service can be used at Coles, Harvey Norman, Kmart, McDonald's, Starbucks, Woolworths and other select Australian stores that accept American Express and have NFC-equipped payment terminals. American Express cardholders can add credit cards in the Wallet app on iOS 9.1 by tapping the "Add Credit or Debit Card" option. Apple Pay currently only works with cards issued directly by American Express, and not bank-issued cards like the CommBank Awards American Express or Westpac Altitude Black American Express cards. Apple says Australian customers will "soon" be able to add store credit cards and loyalty cards to Wallet, and use them to make purchases and redeem rewards with Apple Pay. Kohl's became the first U.S. retailer to offer store-branded cards in Apple Pay last month, while Walgreens launched the first stateside Apple Pay loyalty rewards program a few weeks ago. American Express is not as popular or widely accepted as MasterCard or Visa in Australia, but the partnership could place pressure on negotiations between Apple and Australian banks like Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac. No bank-issued debit and credit cards work with Apple Pay in Australia at this time. #ApplePay day is here in Australia. pic.twitter.com/8C5XfSnpWv— Mike Boyd (@mike_boyd) November 18, 2015 Australia, like Canada and many European countries, has been well prepared for Apple Pay, as many retailers and businesses

Apple Pay Badges Appear in Some Maps Listings in Australia, Canada, Singapore and Europe

Apple Pay badges have been added to Apple Maps listings for select Coles and Woolworths supermarket locations in Australia, as spotted by multiple users on discussion forum AppleTalk Australia. The badges are normally reserved for locations that accept Apple Pay, which is noteworthy given the mobile payments service has yet to officially launch in Australia. Apple Pay badges added to some Apple Maps listings in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney The badges appear in Apple Maps for select Coles and Woolworths store listings in or near large Australian cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Many other Coles and Woolworths listings do not have the badge, nor do large Australian chains such as McDonald's, so it remains unclear if they were added by mistake, or are indicative of forthcoming Apple Pay support in Australia. Apple Pay launched in the U.S. in October 2014 before arriving in the U.K. last July, but Apple has remained quiet about its plans to expand iPhone-based contactless payments to additional countries. In August, Fairfax Media reported that Australian banks oppose Apple sharing a portion of the $2 billion interchange fees they collect from merchants each year in return for use of payment infrastructure. Australia is a well-prepared candidate for Apple Pay, as contactless payments technology has been widely adopted throughout the country over the past few years. Several retailers that support Apple Pay in the U.S. and U.K. also operate in Australia, including Aéropostale, Apple, Babies "R" Us, Champs Sports, Foot Locker, GameStop, McDonald's,

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Priced Higher in Canada, Australia and Europe as U.S. Dollar Remains Strong

Apple has set higher prices for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Canada, Australia and other countries to reflect a strengthening U.S. dollar and fluctuating currency exchange rates. The off-contract prices for the iPhone 6s Plus in Canada, for example, are $1,029, $1,159 and $1,289 CAD for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage space respectively. Comparatively, the iPhone 6 Plus cost $969, $1,099 and $1,229 in Canadian dollars for the same capacities prior to Apple's media event yesterday. That is $60 less for each model. The off-contract prices for the iPhone 6s Plus in Australia are $1,229, $1,379 and $1,529 AUD for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage respectively. Earlier this week, the iPhone 6 Plus retailed for $1,149, $1,299 and $1,449 in Australian dollars for the same storage sizes respectively. Similarly, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have higher prices at launch than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in euro-based countries such as France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. The base 16GB iPhone 6 retailed for €699 last September, for example, while the 16GB iPhone 6s will debut for €739. Not all countries have been affected by the exchange rate, however, as the iPhone 6s Plus is priced the same as the iPhone 6 Plus in the United Kingdom. iPhone 6 Plus was most recently priced at £619, £699 and £789 in the U.K. for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB respectively, while the iPhone 6s Plus will have equal prices. The new iPhone 6s Plus retains the same pricing as the iPhone 6 Plus in the

Australian Banks Hold Back on Apple Pay Support Due to Fees

Nearly ten months after Apple Pay launched in the United States, an increasing number of retailers including Rite Aid and Best Buy have reversed course and announced support for the mobile payments service. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom is the only country that Apple Pay has expanded to since last October due to roadblocks from major banks and financial institutions in other countries. Australia may offer a few clues as to why the international rollout of Apple Pay has taken so long, as The Sydney Morning Herald this week reported that its parent company Fairfax Media believes big banks in the country are unwilling to allow Apple to share a portion of the $2 billion interchange fees they collect from merchants each year in return for use of payment infrastructure.In the United States, Apple is believed to earn about 15¢ on every $100 of transactions. It is understood Apple has been asking for the same amount of interchange fee in Australia. But Australia's big banks will not agree to this level given that interchange fees in Australia are about half the US level – equivalent to an average of 50¢ $100 of transaction compared with about $1 for $100 of transaction fees in the US.Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief executive Ian Narev opined that Apple Pay's launch in Australia will not be as easy compared to the United States because tap-to-pay transactions are already possible in the country. Narev says that his bank -- and many others in Australia -- implemented the underlying technology for Apple Pay between 18 months and two years ago.Mr Narev said CBA had

Apple Watch Now Available at Best Buy in Canada and Harvey Norman in Australia

Apple Watch is now available at select Best Buy stores in Canada and through the electronics retailer's online store in the country, less than two weeks after Best Buy began selling the Apple Watch in the United States. Best Buy Canada offers 16 Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch models alongside select Apple Watch accessories in stores and online. Apple Watch is now available at select Best Buy stores and online. http://t.co/Njxoz4fkyg pic.twitter.com/BAzqsafUKl— Best Buy Canada (@BestBuyCanada) August 14, 2015 Australian department store Harvey Norman also announced that it is selling the Apple Watch at its Auburn, New South Wales location starting August 15. The retailer will have aluminum Apple Watch Sport and stainless steel Apple Watch models available for purchase and try-on appointments. Harvey Norman Auburn is located at 250 Parramatta Road and is open from 9 AM to 5:30 PM local time, with extended hours of 9 AM to 9 PM local time on Thursdays. The retail chain did not specify if the Apple Watch will be available at other Harvey Norman locations in Australia or other countries in the future. (Thanks, Mitty!)

Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service

It's March 24 in Australia and New Zealand, which means Netflix is now live in the country as promised. New Netflix subscribers in Australia and New Zealand will be able to access Netflix content on their Apple TVs, through the Netflix channel that is now available. Netflix plans in Australia are priced at A$8.99 for single-stream access to standard definition content, A$11.99 for two-stream high-definition access, and A$14.99 for four-stream Ultra HD access. All new Netflix subscribers in the two countries can sign up for a one-month free trial. At the current time, it appears that content available to Netflix subscribers in Australia and New Zealand is somewhat more limited than content available in the United States. Movies like The Wolf of Wall Street, Silver Linings Playbook, World War Z, and The Croods are available on Netflix in the U.S., but are not available in Australia and New Zealand. According to The Sydney Morning Herald Australian Netflix has several thousand fewer titles than the U.S. version of the service, but it has 693 shows that are not available in the U.S. or Canada. Netflix has said that content available in Australia will improve in the near future as it continues to add additional shows and

Apple Watch Makes First Australian Magazine Appearance Inside 'Elle'

Elle is the first magazine to feature the Apple Watch in Australia with a fashion shoot starring the publication's in-house fashion editor Sara Smith. The multi-page style guide in the latest April issue offers women tips on how to make the Apple Watch work with different wardrobes depending on the time and place, such as during the weekend, at a cocktail party or in the workplace. Apple continues to carefully curate the Apple Watch's image and exercise control over the way it's portrayed in magazines, positioning the wrist-worn device as a fashion item first and a technology device second. Apple wants the Apple Watch to be seen as trendy and sporty, perhaps in an attempt to avoid the device being viewed as overly technical and unfashionable as some people have opined about other wearables."For a cocktail party: Wear with a tuxedo suit and sexy heels (think Le Smoking Saint Laurent style with Alexander Wang black heels), or if you have the legs for it, a killer cocktail dress. Mix statement jewels with your watch. Try a fabulous cocktail ring and Cartier’s Love Bracelet would look great sitting side by side with your Apple Watch. It will be the perfect conversation starter at a party."Apple Watch has been featured in several fashion and fitness magazines worldwide in recent months, including ’">Sel, Vogue, Style, East Touch, YOHO and Fitness Magazine. The wrist-worn device will be available April 24, with pre-orders starting April 10 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom. Apple Watch starts at $349 for the

Apple Launches Annual 'Back to School' Promotion in Australia and New Zealand

Apple's annual "Back to School" promotion has returned to Australia and New Zealand, as spotted by 9to5Mac. The sale offers an Apple gift card worth between $25 to $100 to university students, students accepted to a university, parents buying for a university student and faculty that purchase a qualifying Mac, iPad or iPhone. The list of qualifying products includes the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Eligible customers can combine the Back to School promotion with Apple Education Pricing for additional savings. The sale runs January 30 through March 19. Apple holds a similar Back to School promotion in the United States during the summer months, offering Apple Store gift cards of equivalent amounts for new Mac, iPad and iPhone purchases. That sale typically runs from July through September and is also offered in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United