How Apple sidestepped Japan’s antitrust rules

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Apple Japan required carriers to subsidize iPhone
Apple Japan used contracts to require carriers to subsidize iPhone prices.
Photo: Apple

Apple got a bit pushy with Japan’s wireless service providers, and was slapped down by regulators as a result.

The iPhone maker was requiring the carriers to put subsidies on iOS handsets. The Japanese Fair Trade Commission decided that was a violation of Japan’s antitrust rules.

Here’s how much each country makes off the iPhone 7

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iPhone-7
The major components for the iPhone 7 come from a variety of counties. Most at of the profit still goes to the U.S.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone is made in China, so most of the profit stays over there, right? Actually, everything in that sentence is wrong.

A new study finds that China makes less than $9 from each iPhone 7. Some of the rest goes to other Asian countries, but the lion’s share is earned by Apple and other U.S. companies.

Apple’s mapping minivans will make their way to Japan this summer

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Apple's Car
Apple has been mapping its way around the world.
Photo: diggapple/Twitter

Apple is set to begin using its Apple Maps minivans to collect mapping data in Japan later this year, the company has revealed.

Apple is due to begin carrying out surveys of Tokyo and Urayasu between June and October, marking the eleventh country that Apple has used its vehicles to collect data in. Previously, Apple’s map vehicles have collected data in Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and, of course, the United States.

Time runs out for Apple Watch pop-up shop experiment

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apple watch
Tokyo store is the last of Apple's three Apple Watch pop-up shops.
Photo: Apple

Apple is closing the last of its remaining Apple Watch pop-up shops. Based in Tokyo, the last of the mini-stores is located in Shinjuku’s high-end Isetan department store. It will shut its door next month.

A message outside the store reads, “This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13. Thank you very much for your continuous patronage.”

Creepy video shows how iPhone X can make your face vanish

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iPhone X
It's the Invisible Man.
Photo: Kazuya Noshiro

Having your own invisibility cloak could soon become a reality thanks to the iPhone X. Kind of.

Japanese developer Kazuya Noshiro showed off a demo of an app he’s working on that uses the iPhone X’s facial recognition features to completely camouflage a users’ face with the background. The trippy effect almost makes you look like a set of floating eyeballs with hair on top.

Watch his face disappear:

Today in Apple history: Apple opens first store outside U.S.

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Apple's store in Tokyo's swanky Ginza shopping district.
Apple's first non-U.S. Apple Store was located in Tokyo, Japan.
Photo: Héctor García/Kirai CC

November 30: Today in Apple history: Apple opens first store outside U.S. November 30, 2003: Apple expands its retail chain outside the United States, opening its 73rd Apple Store in Tokyo’s trendy Ginza shopping district.

On opening day, thousands of Apple fans — possibly the biggest queue in Apple history — line up around the block in the rain to gain early access to the store, which offers five full floors of Apple product goodness.

Steve Jobs does not show up for the opening. However, shoppers hear a welcoming speech from Eiko Harada, then-president of Apple Japan.

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 September 14, 2010: Airport 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 Steve 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).

Apple joins last-ditch bid for Toshiba’s chip division

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Toshiba
Everyone wants a piece of Toshiba's chip division.
Photo: Toshiba

Acquiring Toshiba’s chip-making business could still be in play for Apple after all, even though the company’s previous attempts to secure the coveted division with Foxconn fell through.

According to a new report, Apple is part of a “last-ditch” bid to acquire Toshiba’s chip-making ability along with Bain Capital and a few other players. If successful, the acquisition could give Apple a serious weapon in its battle with Samsung for smartphone supremacy.

Android creator’s Essential Phone will fight iPhone worldwide

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Essential Phone
Essential Phone will expand its reach to new markets.
Photo: Essential

The Essential Phone, built by Android creator Andy Rubin, will do battle against the iPhone in new markets around the world.

For now, the device is only available to those in the U.S. — but Essential is already in talks with carriers in the U.K., Europe, and Japan as it looks to expand its reach.

Apple may help rescue Toshiba’s chipmaking business

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Foxconn
Foxconn wants Toshiba's chip business.
Photo: Foxconn

iPhone-assembler Foxconn may be about to get some help from none other than Apple in its quest to buy Toshiba’s chipmaking business.

Apple is reportedly considering whether to make a huge multi-billion dollar investment in the world’s second-largest memory chip maker. If the deal goes through, it would give Foxconn and Apple a major advantage over other smartphone manufacturers.