Apple’s iPhone 12 event absent from Chinese social media platforms

  • Apple’s livestream of its iPhone 12 launch event on Tuesday was not available to watch on top Chinese social media platforms.
  • Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili, and Weibo didn’t stream the event.
  • Bloomberg reported that the platforms canceled coverage without explanation.
  • The event garnered massive interest in China, Apple’s second-largest market by revenue, and the iPhone 12 was the top topic on Weibo.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Top Chinese social media platforms reportedly pulled their planned coverage of Apple’s iPhone 12 livestream on Tuesday, despite massive interest in the event.

When Apple revealed the iPhone 12, its first 5G phone, video platforms such as Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili, and Weibo didn’t carry the event, despite originally planning to, Bloomberg reported.

The report said the platforms gave no explanation for not showing the event in China, Apple’s second-largest market by revenue.

The iPhone 12 was later ranked the top topic on Weibo, with users posting photos of the new phone.

Bloomberg reporter Yuan Gao said in a tweet that the platforms usually hire translators and commentators to ensure the event is covered late into the night.

 

In an analyst note, financial services and investment firm Wedbush said the news “speaks to the ongoing ‘cold tech war’ tensions between the US and China.”

It estimated that around 20% of iPhone upgrades in the coming year will come from China. 

Representatives of Tencent Holdings, iQiyi, Weibo, and Bilibili didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comments.

During the event, Apple revealed four new 5G phones, starting at $699. 

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Apple Pay Landing Page Goes Live on Apple’s Mexico Website, Suggesting Imminent Launch

Apple added an Apple Pay landing page to its regional Mexico website late on Tuesday, indicating the mobile payment system could launch in the country imminently.


Way back in March there were suggestions that Apple Pay could be coming to Mexico, after reports that some iPhone users in the country had been able to add their Banregio cards to the Wallet app, with only the verification process failing.

Cards from banks other than Banregio were not able to be added to the Wallet app on the ‌‌iPhone‌‌, suggesting ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ in Mexico could be limited to Banregio at launch.

That’s still uncertain, since the ‌Apple Pay‌ page on Apple’s Mexican website offers no launch date and doesn’t list any banks that will integrate with the service. All it says is ‌Apple Pay‌ will be compatible with “credit and debit cards of the most important payment networks, issued by various banks,” which sounds a lot like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

When ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ launches in Mexico, it will be the second country in Latin America to support the payments service. Apple launched ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ in Brazil in 2018, but has not expanded it to other Latin America countries. ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ has also been available in the United States and Canada for years.

Apple maintains a complete list of the countries where ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ is available on its support site, and we have a detailed Apple Pay roundup with everything you need to know about Apple’s payments service.

(Thanks, Luis!)

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Apple’s Intercom Feature Works on iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay

During the unveiling of HomePod mini at Tuesday’s Apple event, Apple introduced an upcoming new feature called Intercom that works across all Apple devices with the exception, it would seem, of Mac.


Intercom will enable family members to communicate with each other wherever they are in the home, with the ability to send and receive spoken messages via HomePod speakers. If a family member is in the garden or away from home, they can still use Intercom on their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and even CarPlay. Apple explains:

A new Intercom feature offers a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home. One person can send an Intercom message from one ‌HomePod‌ to another — whether in a different room, a specific zone, or multiple rooms throughout the home — and their voice will automatically play on the designated ‌HomePod‌ speaker. Intercom works with ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, Apple Watch, AirPods, and ‌CarPlay‌, so everyone in the household can get Intercom notifications and send Intercom messages from the backyard or on their way home.

In the latest ‌HomePod‌ beta software, the setup process explains that users can say “Hey Siri, Intercom,” followed by their message, and then choose which HomePods and/or personal devices the message should be sent to. Other options include “Hey ‌Siri‌, tell everyone,” and “Hey ‌Siri‌, reply…” to respond to a message.


On personal devices, Intercom messages appear as notifications with the option to listen to the audio message. Users can also choose when Intercom notifications are delivered to their ‌iPhone‌ (Never / When I’m Home / Anywhere), and can select who can use Intercom via the Home app if they have remote access. Apple is also including an accessibility option that transcribes spoken messages on personal devices.

The Intercom feature will arrive

Apple’s rare earth recycling steps up environmental response

Apple said Tuesday its newest iPhones would be produced using recycled rare earth materials, as part of a stepped up environmental initiative which also has geopolitical implications.

Announced as part of a series of sustainability actions, Apple said the move builds on prior initiatives including its pledge to become “100 percent carbon neutral” in all aspects of its business.

Apple’s environment policy chief Lisa Jackson said during an online event announcing the new iPhone 12 handsets that “for the first time, we are using 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets including the camera, haptics and MagSafe (connectors).”

The announcement comes amid growing concerns about e-waste from billions of smartphones as consumers upgrade to new models, and with growing political tensions over rare earth materials needed for many electronics.

Activists have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of rare earth mining, and some of the materials come from countries cited for labor and human rights violations.

China, the scene of fatal mining accidents, has been in the spotlight for its dumping of toxic waste in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, as Beijing drives global production of rare earth elements.

Amid Sino-US trade tensions, China has threatened to cut off the supply of some elements, raising fears of shortages.

According to the US Geological Survey, China has the world’s largest rare earth deposits, with 44 million tonnes of reserves. Vietnam and Brazil have 22 million tonnes each.

Difficulties with US deposits twice forced the closure of the only US mine, in Mountain Pass, California. And refining capacity is limited outside China, according to analysts.

Apple also said it won’t be including earbuds or power adaptors with the newest iPhones, since most customers already have these. That will reduce manufacturing and make boxes lighter to ship.

Jackson said the move was part

Factbox: Top Five Takeaways From Apple’s IPhone Launch Event | Top News

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Tuesday announced four new iPhones that can tap 5G wireless data networks and a cheaper smart speaker that will compete with offerings from market leaders Amazon and Google.

In a bid to line up new hardware for the upcoming holiday season, Apple last month launched new smart watch models with blood oxygen sensors and updated its iPad range.

The Cupertino, California-based company’s Tuesday launch included smartphones ranging from $699 to $1,399 with new designs and 5G technology.

Here are five key announcements from the event:

Apple said all four new iPhone models in the United States will support millimeter wave 5G, the fastest variant of the technology, as well as lower-frequency bands. Some rival Android devices support only the lower-frequency versions of 5G.

Nearly all of Apple’s rivals, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, have 5G models on store shelves already. The iPhone maker’s announcement is likely to bring fresh attention to the technology, even if U.S. carriers are still years away from rolling out the fastest versions.

Apple’s newest base model, the iPhone 12 mini, sports a 5.4 inch (13.72 cm) full screen display, with a dual camera setup and is priced at $699. The device can be pre-ordered from Nov. 6 and shipping will begin a week later. (https://apple.co/3iVIvNR)

The iPhone 12 has a 6.1 inch display and starts at $799. Customers in more than 30 countries will be able to pre-order the phone on Oct. 16 and it will be shipped from Oct. 23.

The “Pro” iPhones come in two variants, Pro and Pro Max, with a price tag starting at $999 and three cameras each. The iPhone 12 Pro Max sports the company’s largest ever display of 6.7 inches. Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Pro begin Oct. 16 and it goes on