| Cult of Mac

Check out Apple’s spectacular new Kyoto store

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Kyoto
The multi-tiered design is sure to be a winner.
Photo: Apple

Ahead of this Sunday’s opening of Apple’s first store in Kyoto, Japan, the company has published a few images of the store — showing the interior of what looks to be a stunning addition to Apple’s high-end retail outlets.

The store is located on one of Kyoto’s main shopping streets, surrounded by some of Kyoto’s most famous shrines and temples. The Apple Store pays homage to Japanese culture and design, while still maintaining a uniquely Apple look.

iPhone sales could take hit in one of the most Apple-mad countries

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iPhone Japan
Japan loves its iPhones. But a proposed law could make some consumers consider cheaper Android handsets.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Japanese government is considering a move to block carriers from bundling the cost of smartphones into monthly services fees. This comes after regulators last month said Apple violated anti-trust laws by forcing carriers to subsidize iPhones.

Apple has dominated the Japanese smartphone market for the last five years. The flagship iPhone X is the most expensive smartphone on the market at more than $1,000, but customers feel little to no pinch in the pocketbook as the cost becomes part of a fixed contract with monthly service fees.

Apple is opening its first store in Kyoto, Japan this month

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Kyoto
Japan was the location of Apple's first non-U.S. retail store in 2003.
Photo: Apple

Apple will open a new Apple store location in Kyoto, Japan this month, its first in the city, which is located in the Kansai region of Japan.

This will be the ninth Apple Store to be opened in Japan, although one of these in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo is currently closed. The August 25 opening comes approximately 15 years after Japan was selected in 2003 as the first country outside of the U.S. to receive an Apple Store.

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:

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

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Toshiba
Toshiba is ready to go public.
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.