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iOS 11 iPad Pro
Look out for the changes next month.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: Apple denies Steve Jobs’ love of ninja stars

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Ninja star
Jobs apparently tried to take one of these on his private jet.
Photo: SecretNinjaNews

September 14: Today in Apple history: Apple denies Steve Jobs' love of ninja stars September 14, 2010: Security workers reportedly stop Steve Jobs at Japan’s Kansai International Airport. The reason? The Apple CEO supposedly tried to bring ninja throwing stars onto his private plane while heading home from vacation.

It’s one of the most bizarre Jobs stories ever. Apple, however, quickly spoils the internet’s fun. Cupertino issues a statement describing the reports as “pure fiction” (although Apple acknowledges that Jobs visited Japan over the summer).

The spectacular windows at Apple’s new Tokyo store look like giant iPhones

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Apple new store in Japan
Check out those beautiful rounded windows.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s opening its latest Tokyo Japanese Apple Store this weekend. To mark the occasion, it’s offering would-be shoppers a sneak peak.

In keeping with Apple’s love of embracing local culture, the new store makes use of in-store bamboo plants. There are also impressive two-story vitrine windows made from specially cast aluminum to create three-dimensional rounded corners. Resembling giant iPhones, these are the first of their kind at any Apple Store.

Check out more pictures below.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission investigates Apple again

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Apple Japan required carriers to subsidize iPhone
Apple is accused of abusing its power with suppliers.
Photo: Apple

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating Apple’s tactics for selling iPhones in the country.

The Japanese FTC thinks Apple might have abused its power by pressuring Japanese suppliers into unfavorable deals. Questionable methods allegedly include providing free technology and expertise to Apple affiliates, stopping them from selling to other companies, and making them shoulder costs for unforeseen problems.

Apple hints at 2 new Japanese Apple Stores opening this year

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Apple Stores Japan
Apple's new logos for its Japa
Image: Apple

New images posted to Apple’s website reveal the opening of two new stores in Japan for later this year. The stylized logos are accompanied by text reading “planned for 2019.”

One of the logos uses the colors of Apple’s iconic rainbow logo. The other is a slightly retro-style logo showing the Apple logo as a series of lines with a sun-hued gradient.

HomePod is finally on its way to Japan

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HomePod market share
It will be on sale “this summer.”
Photo: Apple

Apple is gearing up to launch HomePod in Japan — more than two years after the device got its first unveiling.

Smart speaker shoppers will be able to pick one up in the coming weeks for 32,800 yen (approx. $301). HomePod will then be available in a total of 11 countries.

WWII-era dispute could ensnarl release of 2019 iPhones

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iPhone 11 rumor from Olixar
Apple could feel the fallout from a dispute between Japan and South Korea.
Photo: Olixar

Another dispute between countries looms over Apple, but this one dates back to World War II and could cause the tech giant heartburn as it readies the lineup of 2019 iPhones.

Japan will tighten export restrictions on South Korea for materials used to make smartphone chips and displays beginning Thursday. Japan imposed the rule after a court in South Korea ordered Japan’s Nippon Steel to compensate South Koreans for wartime forced labor.

iOS 13 will read NFC tags in ID cards and passports in Germany

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German-ID-card-NFC
It’s already possible if you use Android.
Photo: Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat

iPhone users will be able to scan German ID cards, passports, and more when iOS 13 rolls out this fall, according to local authorities.

The functionality will allow digital versions of those documents to be carried on an iOS device so that they are always accessible. Recent reports have confirmed users in Japan will be able to do the same with national ID cards.