| Cult of Mac

Health officials distribute iPhones to cruise ship hit with coronavirus


iPhones for quarantined cruise passengers
Stranded passengers can get news and medical consultations with government-issued iPhones.
Photo: Jun Masuda/Twitter

Japanese health officials passed out some 2,000 iPhones to quarantined passengers stuck on board a cruise ship with an outbreak of coronavirus.

The iPhones will allow stranded passengers to consult with doctors, order medications and work through anxiety with mental health professionals.

Apple Pay with Express Transit en route to San Diego, Philadelphia and other cities


Paying for your journeys just got a lot faster.
Photo: Apple

One of the best features of Apple Pay is finally starting to roll out to more public transit systems in the U.S. next year.

After being adopted by Washington D.C. and New York City this year, Apple Pay with Express Transit mode will reportedly be adopted by Philadelphia and San Diego next year, with other major cities planning to support it out by 2023.

Tim Cook’s tasty street food odyssey continues in Thailand


Tim Cook’s tasty street food odyssey continues in Thailand
The crab omelette's good and Apple's worth $1.2 trillion. Could life get better?
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

Tim Cook’s street food tour of East Asia continues. Earlier this week, Cook enjoyed a traditional breakfast in Singapore’s Tiong Bahru Market. Now he’s hopped over to Thailand, where he chowed down on some “five star” crab omelette in Bangkok with food bloggers Yota and Jira.

Oh, and visited some developers and Apple users, too. But, you know, that crab omelette!

Tim Cook pays a visit to Apple’s first store outside the US


Tim Cook pays a visit to Apple’s first store outside the US
Apple Store Ginza opened in November 2003.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter CC

Tim Cook is on a business trip to Japan right now — and, as part of his travels, he paid a visit to the first Apple Store the company opened outside of the United States.

That store is located in Ginza, a trendy shopping district in Tokyo. “Our very first store outside of the US, Apple Ginza is always such a special place,” Cook tweeted. “Thanks for a wonderful visit!”

App Store prices climb in Japan as tax increases


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

Apple will raise App Store pricing in Japan next month in line with an update to Japan Consumption Tax (JCT).

The increase will affect sales and in-app purchases, but not auto-renewable subscriptions. Only the most affordable tier priced at ¥120 will avoid the change.

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


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


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


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.