China’s huge Apple Pay promotion offers massive rewards


Apple Pay
Apple Pay promotion is the biggest in China since the service debuted.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is running a massive Apple Pay promotion in China this week, in an attempt to grab a larger chunk of the mobile payments market currently dominated by Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings.

The promotion runs from tomorrow through July 24, and offers customers who use Apple Pay discounts of up to 50 percent, plus reward points up to 50x those of regular credit cards. The promotion is the biggest one since Apple Pay debuted in China in February 2016.

Apple’s new data center will comply with strict Chinese laws


Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Tim Cook meeting with Apple store employees in China on a previous visit.
Photo: Apple

Apple is setting up a new data center in China, in partnership with local data management firm Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GCDB), in order to meet new cybersecurity rules.

The new tougher cybersecurity laws were introduced in China last month, requiring cloud services in the country to be operated by Chinese companies.

Photos show grand opening of Apple’s first Taiwan store


Thousands of customers visited Apple Taipei 101 for the grand opening on Saturday.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s first brick-and-mortar retail store opened in Taiwan over the weekend, and Apple has shared pictures to celebrate the occasion.

The newly opened store is located on the ground floor of Taiwan’s iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper in the Xinyi District. It was the world’s tallest building prior to being overtaken by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in 2009.

China’s black market can build an iPhone from scratch


iPhone black market China
China's black market looks like "an iPhone factory has thrown up all over itself."
Photo: Brian Merchant/Wired

iPhone-turns-10-1You don’t have to visit a Foxconn factory to see an iPhone built from scratch.

Visit China’s black market and you’ll meet traders with the components, tools, and know-how to build you a working handset for a fraction of the price you would pay Apple. The whole process is complete by the time you’ve finished your coffee.

Tim Cook calls self-driving cars ‘mother of all AI problems’


And here it is in all its glory.
Cook confirms that Apple is interested in autonomous systems for cars.
Photo: Motor1

Tim Cook has shared some details on Apple’s electric car plans, describing self-driving cars as “the mother of all AI projects.”

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg Television, which was conducted on June 5, but only published online today. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important … It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”

China is losing interest in the iPhone


Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Tim Cook meets with Apple store employees in China.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook hasn’t been shy about proclaiming China Apple’s future biggest market, but right now it’s causing the most problems.

According to analysts at Oppenheimer, Apple’s “Reality Distortion Field” is fading in China, as iPhone sales drop 20 percent. That’s at least twice as bad as any other market.

Apple tells Chinese app makers to cut tips or pay up


Apple wants to take its cut of the money Chinese app users send as tips to content creators.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has risked upsetting customers in China by revealing plans to take a percentage of donations that are sent to content creators on social media, via the “tip” function of local apps like WeChat.

Apple previously told developers to disable the feature, but it has since reconsidered and decided that this represents an opportunity to make some money. Since they are considered in-app purchases, Apple wants to take its usual 30 percent cut of payments.

Trouble in China, iPhone slump and other Apple earnings surprises


How will investors respond to Apple's relatively flat earnings?
How will investors respond to Apple's relatively flat earnings?
Photo: Ste Smith

Apple’s Q2 earnings report for 2017 just barely beat Wall Street’s expectations when the numbers were revealed this afternoon, but there are plenty of reasons to still be optimistic about AAPL.

During the company’s call with investors today, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri discussed some of the struggles the company experienced last quarter, from slumping iPhone sales to economic headwinds in China.

Here are the biggest takeaways:

Apple beats expectations in Q2 2017 earnings report


Apple is raking in the cash.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple just posted its earnings for Q2 2017 and while the numbers aren’t as monstrous as last quarter’s, there’s a lot to love in the new report.

With revenues hitting $52.9 billion, Apple returned to growth for the second straight quarter with $11 billion in profit. iPhone sales were down year-over-year, but Apple CEO Tim Cook says demand for the iPhone 7 Plus is still high.