Apple Pay Expanding to China, Possibly France and Canada’s Big Banks

Apple Pay has launched in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia to date, and the mobile payments service could expand to a fifth country this week: China. A customer service representative for China’s Guangfa Bank, using the bank’s public WeChat account, appears to have confirmed that Apple Pay will officially go live in the world’s most populous country on February 18 at 5:00 a.m. local time.

(Image: Sina via Tech in Asia)

Apple previously announced that Apple Pay will expand to China in early 2016 in partnership with UnionPay, a state-run interbank network that holds a monopoly on the country’s credit and debit card processing. UnionPay cardholders will be able to use Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad – the latter for in-app purchases only. iOS 9.2 or watchOS 2.1 or later will be required, according to the screenshot.

In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple reached deals with China’s big four state-run banks, including the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China, to launch its iPhone-based payments service in the country. The report said Apple Pay could launch by the weeklong Chinese New Year, which concluded on February 13.

That prospective date has since passed, but a pair of YouTube videos surfaced in January that appeared to show Apple Pay working with UnionPay bank cards in China for both in-store and in-app purchases. It is possible that Apple soft launched Apple Pay in China with select participating issuers in order to test the payments service, ahead of its official launch in the country in a few days.

Meanwhile, French website iGeneration claims that Apple is preparing to launch Apple Pay in France and could make an announcement in the first half of 2016 – perhaps at WWDC in June. The report claims it is unclear when Apple Pay will become available in French stores, nor does it have information about which banks and participating issuers will support the service upon launch.

Last, new evidence has been uncovered that hints at Apple Pay support coming to Canada’s big banks. Specifically, Twitter user ChaseFromm2016 recently discovered a „NetworkInterac“ string hidden in iOS 9.2.1 code, as shared by the blog iPhone in Canada. The same string was also shared on Chinese website Feng last month, in the screenshot pictured right, according to the report.

(Image: iPhone in Canada)

Interac is Canada’s official debit card network, adopted by the country’s largest banks and credit unions nationwide, including BMO, CIBC, Desjardins, Meridian, National Bank of Canada, RBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, and many others. TD Canada Trust already stirred speculation in October when it inadvertently listed Apple Pay as a method of payment on its website, before quickly removing it.

Apple Pay is currently limited to American Express cardholders in Canada and Australia, and the same partnership will be extended to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain later this year. Apple Pay is now available at more than 2 million retail locations, and Au Bon Pain, Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A, Cinnabon, Chili’s, KFC, and Starbucks stores now do or soon will accept the payments service in the U.S.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: China, Canada, France
Discuss this article in our forums

Read More: 

Apple Pay Expanding to China, Possibly France and Canada’s Big Banks

iPhone 7 Chip Manufacturer Counts Cost of Earthquake Damage

The sole company responsible for manufacturing the processor in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has reduced its shipping estimates after its facilities were damaged in an earthquake (via DigiTimes).

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) suffered the damage to its plants on February 6 when a 6.4-magnitude quake struck the southern part of the country.

Initially, TSMC reported that the damage incurred would reduce the amount of chips it could ship by less than 1 percent. However, this morning the company revised that estimate and said shipment numbers could be affected over the 1 percent mark, but stopped short of giving a specific number.

Mockup of iPhone 7 case showing flush rear camera and no antenna bands across rear

Despite the earthquake, TSMC stated it is confident of hitting target revenues of $5.9-6.0 billion in the first quarter of 2016. Whether the damage will affect production of the iPhone 7 chip, which is expected to begin in June, remains unclear.

TSMC reached a deal with Apple only last week to become the sole manufacturer for the iPhone 7’s processor, partly thanks to its 10-nanometer manufacturing process. Apple used both Samsung and TSMC to manufacture the chips for the iPhone 6s, perhaps in a bid to lower risks, but the arrangement caused some controversy after benchmarks indicated performance variances between the companies’ processors.

The processor in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is likely called the A10. Both devices are expected to debut in September. Leaks of the phones’ design suggest that it may have a flush rear camera and a lack of antenna bands on its back. Other rumors indicate that the 7 Plus may feature a dual-lens camera system and that it may be waterproof and not have a headphone jack.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tags: TSMC, A10
Discuss this article in our forums

Link:

iPhone 7 Chip Manufacturer Counts Cost of Earthquake Damage

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Tech Travel Vest From AyeGear

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with AyeGear to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a V26 Travel Vest, which is a tech vest that’s able to hold an iPhone, an iPad, a Retina MacBook, and a huge number of accessories in its dedicated pockets.

There are 26 total pockets in the Travel Vest, with seven on the outside and 19 on the inside. The two largest inner pockets can hold dual iPads or an iPad and a 12-inch MacBook, and there are also two smartphone pockets with transparent touch pockets for housing an iPhone. With the transparent fabric, the touchscreen of the iPhone is usable while it’s tucked away and earbuds can be routed through the top of the vest for listening to music.

Internal wire management keeps cords from getting tangled, and there are pockets that will hold a range of accessories like credit cards, cash, glasses, a passport, a camera, a water bottle, and more. The vest itself is waterproof, breathable, and windproof, so it can be used in all weather conditions.

According to AyeGear, the Travel Vest is ideal for outdoor activities like walking, hiking, and backpacking, but it’s also useful for airline travel or professions where multiple accessories and devices need to be on hand at all time, such as photography.

The AyeGear V26 Travel Vest can be purchased from the AyeGear website for GBP99.99​​ or $145, but one MacRumors reader can win one through our giveaway. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prizes.

You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (February 12) at 12:15 p.m. Pacific Time through 12:15 p.m. Pacific Time on February 19. The winner will be chosen randomly on February 19 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond a before a new winner is chosen.

Tags: giveaway, AyeGear
Discuss this article in our forums

More – 

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Tech Travel Vest From AyeGear

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Copy of WALTR for Mac

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with Softorino to offer 15 MacRumors readers a chance to win a copy of WALTR for Mac. WALTR is designed to make it easy to upload any music or video file to an iOS device.

With WALTR, you can drag and drop a wide variety of media files onto your iPhone or iPad, and they’ll be automatically added to the appropriate native Music or Video app on the device. Supported file types include MP4, AVI, CUE, WMA, M4R, AAC, M4V, M4A, FLAC, ALAC, MKV, LV, M2TS, TS, DV, MPG, MPEG, MPE, WEBM, MB4, AIFF, WAV, OGG, WV, TTA, and DFF.

Transferring a file is as simple as plugging an iPhone or iPad into your Mac or PC, turning off iTunes, and dragging any media file onto the Mac app. From there, the file is converted and uploaded to your device within minutes.

WALTR is normally priced at $29.99. 15 MacRumors readers will get WALTR for free through our giveaway. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prizes.

You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (January 29) at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on February 5. The winners will be chosen randomly on February 5 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond a before new winners are chosen.

Tags: giveaway, WALTR, Softorino
Discuss this article in our forums

Continued – 

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Copy of WALTR for Mac

Microsoft Offering Up to $250 Off Band 2 With Apple Watch Trade-In

A new program from Microsoft is encouraging Apple Watch users to switch over to the Microsoft Band 2 with a few tiers of trade-in initiatives (via Cult of Mac). The company is offering „as much as“ $150 for the aluminum Apple Watch Sport, $200 for the stainless steel Apple Watch with a Sport band, and $250 for the Apple Watch with Milanese Loop.

The Microsoft Band 2 itself costs $250, so the Milanese Loop trade-in offer is the only one available that would fully pay off the price of the wearable band. Microsoft is also accepting other wearables for users to trade for a new Band 2, including a FitBit Flex ($10), Sony SmartWatch 3 ($25), and Pebble Time Steel ($25). For any successful trade-in, a device must abide by a few stipulations listed by Microsoft:

• Device’s housing and band are completely intact without cracks or missing parts.

• Device is completely functional, including:

-All keys work.

-Device powers on.

-Device screen is not cracked or broken.

-Device screen responds to touch

-No security codes or PIN codes are required to operate the device.

The program runs for a few more weeks, ending on February 7, and is available only to users on the Microsoft Online Store in the United States and Canada. Microsoft unveiled the Band 2 at an event back in October, and launched it the same month, introducing a new curved screen with durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and an improved touch display on the wearable smartwatch.

Response to the new generation of the Microsoft Band wasn’t entirely positive, so the company’s new trade-in program could be an attempt to generate some sales for the device in the months leading up to the Apple Watch 2’s rumored launch in April.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Band 2
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Discuss this article in our forums

Original article – 

Microsoft Offering Up to $250 Off Band 2 With Apple Watch Trade-In

Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay

Apple today announced a new partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay expanding to China in early 2016. Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their bank cards with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad (within apps).

„Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad,“ said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. „China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.“

Apple Pay in the country will work with the China UnionPay Quickpass, an existing contactless payment service. Customers will be able to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near a UnionPay QuickPass-enabled point-of-sale terminal to make a payment at participating stores.

Reaching a deal to bring Apple Pay to China has been a priority for Apple, given China’s increasing importance to the company. A partnership between Apple and China UnionPay was first hinted at in February, when the first iOS 8.3 beta introduced support for the China UnionPay network. Talks reportedly stalled later that month, but in the weeks ahead of today’s announcement, rumors pointing towards a deal picked up.

A recent rumor has suggested Apple is aiming to launch Apple Pay in China before February 8, 2016, which marks the start of Chinese New Year. According to Apple’s press release, the service will be available following „relevant tests and certification“ required by Chinese regulators.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: China UnionPay
Discuss this article in our forums

This article: 

Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay

PIQ and Rossignol Launch Ski Sensor to Track Performance on Slopes

PIQ has partnered with Rossignol to create a new version of its multi-sport sensor for tracking skiing performance on the slopes (via Engadget). The 13-axis ski sensor attaches to a ski boot and allows skiers to record runs, analyze turns, challenge friends, track best speeds and more.

It can then measure stats like edge-to-edge speed, G-force and carving angle, while giving freestyle skiers air time, G-force at landing, rotation and more. As with other PIQ models, you can check stats immediately from your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth, but if you don’t carry a phone during mogul practice, it’ll store the data for later.

PIQ sells a package with the sensor and Rossignol ski accessory for €149, or the €49 ski accessory can be purchased separately for those that already own a PIQ sensor. The products can be pre-ordered until January 12, 2016 and will ship in February before general public availability.

Rossignol’s companion Ski Pursuit app is free on the App Store for iPhone [Direct Link].

Tags: App Store, Rossignol, PIQ
Discuss this article in our forums

Read More:

PIQ and Rossignol Launch Ski Sensor to Track Performance on Slopes