Apple has released an update to iBooks with improvements for Asia. The iBookstore now sells books in Japan, and more support has been added for Asian languages.
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It takes no more than about 30 seconds to run a cloth over your smartphone or tablet display and free it from greasy fingerprints. But if you’re just too darn lazy to do that, check out this tiny little autonomous robot that does it for you. From Takara Tomy, the Automee-S is a 2.75-inch Roomba-like device that (slowly) makes its way around your smartphone or tablet display and gives it a good clean.
Apple celebrates the Chinese New Year by offering its fans in Asia one-day “Red Friday” deals, similar to the Black Friday sale it holds for customers in the United States. And the Cupertino company has today begun teasing the event via its online store with a big red advert that promises “great gifts for everyone on your list.”
The iPad may be the king of tablets in some markets, but Apple’s device cannot compete with the Nexus 7 in Japan. Its premium price tag is causing tablet buyers to opt for Google’s 7-inch slate instead, despite its smaller display and lack of a rear-facing camera. One survey of Japanese electronics stores has found that the Nexus 7 has claimed 44.4% of the tablet market.
Apple’s iBookstore is reportedly heading to Japan this year, finally delivering its popular e-book store to the ever-growing number of Japanese iPad users. The Cupertino company is said to be in the process of negotiating deals with a “handful” of Japanese publishers to supply a local version of their titles at launch.
In the Western world, Santa Claus and Christmas rule the holiday season, but in Japan and other parts of Asia, it’s all about Fukubukuro or Lucky Bags, the annual New Year’s tradition where merchants distribute grab bags full of mystery contents at a huge discount to crazed shoppers.
This year, like every other year, Apple is taking part in the Lucky Bag phenomenon, allowing shoppers to spend about $400 for an Apple-certified Lucky Bag.
Usually, these bags have lower ticket items in them, like iPod touches and t-shirts, but every once in a while, some lucky S.O.B. gets a MacBook Air or a top-of-the-line iPad. There’s only a limited number of them, so you need to line up hours ahead of time. Anyone wish Apple did Lucky Bags over here?
- Source Apple
South Korea has asked Apple to remove the Japanese names of the Dokdo islets from its new Maps app in iOS 6. Both Asian countries claim ownership of Dokdo, which has long caused tensions between the two. In iOS 5, when Maps was powered by Google Maps, only the Korean name for the islets was used, and that’s how Korean officials want it to stay.
Square Enix has revealed that it may reconsider its pricing structure for mobile games following critical feedback from users in Western countries. While the Japanese developer is well-known among iOS users for its awesome RPGs, such as Final Fantasy and Chaos Rings, it’s also famous for its hefty price tags, which can often be as much as $18 per title.
When console-quality games are going for less then $5 these days, those prices are a big problem for some.
Imagine that you are chatting to somebody on your iPhone. Now imagine that — at the touch of a button — you can cause a fragrance to squirt from their iPhone and into their unsuspecting nostrils. Amazingly, there is a device which will make this nightmare scenario real, and — of course — it comes from Japan.
SoftBank, Japan’s third-largest carrier, has this morning announced that it will acquire Sprint in a deal worth $20.1 billion. The company will purchase $8 billion in newly-issues shares from Sprint, in addition to $12.1 billion in existing shares — giving it a 70% stake overall.