Press start to resume: Epic’s battle with Apple allowed to continue in Oz

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Epic Games mocked Apple with a ‘1984’ parody.
The battle has been raging since last summer.
Screenshot: Epic Games

There’s no outcome yet announced for Epic Games’ battle with Apple in the United States. But the Australian Federal Court just handed a victory (of sorts) to the Fornite maker: giving it permission to proceed with its fight with Apple in Oz.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple is abusing its position in the marketplace by not allowing companies to distribute their apps on iOS outside the App Store. Epic’s efforts to battle Apple in Australia temporarily halted earlier this year due to a jurisdiction clauses stopping Australian lawsuits from proceeding if a similar case is being heard elsewhere in the world. The judge said they wanted to see what the US case would conclude before continue.

However, three Federal Court judges have ruled that it can continue — since it involves conduct in the Australian market that is of importance to the public.

More Australian retailers stop selling AirTags over safety concerns

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AirTags
AirTags are causing concerns over their safety.
Photo: Apple

More retailers in Australia are reportedly removing Apple’s location-tracking AirTags from their shelves. This relates to concerns that the trackers’ tiny button batteries could be swallowed by small children.

Earlier this week, office supplier retail giant Officeworks suspended sales of the AirTag. Now other Australian retailers — including JB Hi-Fi and Big W — have seemingly followed suit.

Australian stores remove AirTags over safety fears

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AirTag pairs easily with iPhone, much like AirPods.
AirTags are tiny. So are their batteries.
Photo: Apple

A chain of office supply stores in Australia suspended sales of Apple’s AirTag over child-safety concerns.

Officeworks, which sells approximately 30,000 products in its 167 giant stores, confirmed that the “Apple AirTag range will temporarily be unavailable” for purchase. This is reportedly due to how easily the replaceable cell batteries can be removed from the location-tracking tags. And, presumably, swallowed.

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TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
App developers should be allowed to sell app purchases outside the App Store.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

Australian antitrust committee eyes Apple’s lucrative Google search deal

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Is Apple’s deal to make Google Safari’s default search engine anticompetitive?
An Australian government agency is probing Apple and Google for anticompetitive practices.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is gathering data for a report on whether Google and Apple abuse their ability to pick default web browsers and search engines in their operating systems to squeeze out smaller competitors.

And Australia is just one of many countries probing the business practices of big tech companies. These investigations might eventually be followed by lawsuits or legislation that forces Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. to change the way they do business.

Apple Watch ECG on its way to Australia after government approval

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Apple Watch ECG
One of Apple Watch's best features is expanding its reach.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch’s terrific ECG feature is one step closer to going live in Australia after receiving government approval. It comes just a month after Australia approved the device’s irregular heart rhythm notifications.

It’s not yet clear when Apple will make the feature available to Apple Watch owners.

Apple now offers AppleCare+ monthly plans in Canada, Australia, and Japan

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2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and AppleCare
AppleCare+ gives you month-by-month rolling protection for your Apple device.
Photo: Apple

Apple is expanding its AppleCare+ monthly plan outside the United States for the first time. It is making it available in Canada, Japan, and Australia as well.

The month-by-month coverage hasn’t launched yet in these countries. However, Apple has revealed that it is coming to these markets in one of its official support documents.

Apple re-closes retail stores in Melbourne, Australia after coronavirus spike

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Apple Chadstone store
Apple Chadstone is one of the stores to re-close.
Photo: Apple

Apple is re-closing four more of its Apple Stores in Melbourne, Australia as coronavirus cases spike again in the region.

Apple Chadstone, Apple Southland, Apple Doncaster, and Apple Fountain Gate will all be temporarily closing down, along with Apple Highpoint, which closed its doors last week. Australian Apple Stores began reopening two months ago, after having been shuttered since March 14.

Australian Apple Stores reopen for business after coronavirus lockdown

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Apple Store Bondi Australia
Apple Bondi is one of the 21 Apple Stores that reopened in Oz.
Photo: Apple

On Thursday, Australia became the first country outside of China to reopen large numbers of Apple Stores as 21 of its 22 retail outlets opened their doors again for the first time in more than six weeks.

The Australian Apple Stores, like all others outside China, have been closed since March 14. They were temporarily shuttered due to the spread of COVID-19.

Majority of Apple Stores in Australia will reopen Thursday, May 7

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Australia money
Apple Stores will be open again to take your money this week. All except one, that is.
Photo: Cult of Mac / Picturesofmoney

All Apple Stores except one will reopen in Australia on Thursday, May 7, claim the official Apple webpages for 21 of 22 brick and mortar stores.

Australian Apple Stores, like all others outside China, have been closed since March 14. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic.