European court rules Apple and other tech companies are violating privacy

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The European Court of Justice just handed down a disruptive ruling.
The European Court of Justice just handed down a disruptive ruling.
Photo: Cédric Puisney/FlickrCC

In a landmark decision Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled that European Union regulators can override the Safe Harbor agreement, a 15-year-old accord that has — until now — allowed Apple, Google, Facebook, and about 4,500 other U.S. companies to transfer data from European users to the U.S.

The court believes that the current agreement violates European citizens’ right to privacy by exposing their private data to the U.S. government through the American companies’ cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies.

27% of smartphone buyers in Europe swapped Android for iPhone last quarter

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27-of-smartphone-buyers-in-europe-swapped-android-for-iphone-last-quarter-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201504iPhone-6-Plus-vs-Note-4-jpg
Consumers aren’t bored of the iPhone 6 yet.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Apple’s iPhones might be on the verge of a big refresh this month, but that doesn’t make them any less appealing to those looking to take a break from Android.

In Europe, 27 percent of smartphone shoppers swapped their Android for an iPhone last quarter, while 9 percent of consumers made the same switch in the U.S.

iPhone is killing it in Europe thanks to Android switchers

Photo: Cult of Android
Photo: Cult of Android

Europe was supplanted by China this past quarter as the second most important market for Apple, but according to a new report from Kantar, the iPhone-maker is gaining grown in Europe thanks to Android switchers.

Over 30% of Apple’s new customers in Europe last quarter switched over from Android. All the new converts have pushed iOS’ marketshare in Europes five largest countries to 20.3%, marking a 1.8% increase from 2014.

Check out the graph below:

Apple Pay could be coming to Europe as early as mid-April

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This scene could be coming to Europe before too long. GIF: Buster Hein/ Cult of Mac
This scene could be coming to Europe before too long. GIF: Buster Hein/ Cult of Mac

The question of when European iPhone owners can expect to start using Apple Pay may be answered sooner rather than later. Visa Europe has announced that it is putting in place the infrastructure to allow contactless payment terminals to support the “tokenization” service used by Apple Pay.

The technology will be in place by mid-April, after which Apple could theoretically introduce Apple Pay anytime it wishes.