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Apple Starts Allowing Customers in India to Configure MacBook, Mac Computers Based on Their Requirements

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Apple has started allowing customers in India to configure iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and other Mac computers based on their requirements. The new service, which is currently live through certain Apple Authorised Resellers in the country, already existed in markets including Canada and the US for quite some time. It lets customers pick their own RAM, storage, or graphics preference while ordering a new Mac machine. Apple customers in India have long demanded the custom configurations for MacBook and Mac desktops. However, the Cupertino giant had a major focus towards generating iPhone sales in the country, and didn’t address the demand up until now.

To offer custom configurations, Apple has started configure-to-order (CTO) or build-to-order (BTO) option in India for its Mac devices, as first reported by TechCrunch. The configuration options are listed on the Apple India site.

Gadgets 360 was able to verify that the new change has started rolling out for Mac customers in India. However, it is not yet available through all Apple Authorised Distributors in the country. Sources in distribution tell Gadgets 360 that Apple expects to complete the rollout of this service before the start of June. Apple declined to comment on the matter.

Customers ordering customised MacBook and Mac desktops will need to wait for over a month to get their orders delivered, mainly depending on the availability of the components. Also, it is important to note that the configuration options are currently available only through offline stores and not e-commerce sites including Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.

Prior to the latest update, Apple was offering its MacBook, iMac, and other Mac computers in select pre-configured options. Customers weren’t allowed to order any customisations on the part of memory, storage, and graphics. This was unlike how Apple provides custom configurations in markets such as Canada and the US.

Customisation isn’t cheap
While people have been asking for this option for a while now, customisation doesn’t come cheaply. The company, for example, charges $200 (roughly Rs. 15,100) to offer a 16GB RAM upgrade for the MacBook Air 2020 model in the US. That being said, the latest move by Apple shows that the company has started taking its Mac customers in India seriously to some extent.

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Apple

Apple-EU Tax Case Appeal Ruling Due on July 15, Irish Government Says

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By Reuters | Updated: 8 July 2020

The European Union’s second highest court will next week rule in an appeal by Apple and Ireland against an EU ruling for the US company to pay EUR 13 billion (roughly Rs. 1.10 lakh crores) in back taxes, the Irish government said on Wednesday.

The European Commission ordered Apple in 2016 to pay the taxes it said were owed to Ireland. But Apple and Ireland, whose economy benefits from hosting a number of multinational firms, began an appeal against the decision in September.

“The State has been formally notified that the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) will deliver its judgment in the Apple State Aid case on July 15,” the Department of Finance said in a statement.

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the judgment was likely to be appealed by one of the parties.

“I think that no matter what the judgment is, this case will almost certainly be appealed by one party or another to the European Court of Justice,” Varadkar told journalists.

With the legal challenge expected to run for years, Ireland’s debt agency has invested the disputed taxes in low-risk, highly rated euro-dominated bonds, mainly short- to medium-term sovereign securities.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said Apple’s commitment to Ireland, which became its first European operation in 1980 and where it employs 6,000 workers, was “unshakable”.


© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Apple Not Dominant in Any Market, Plenty of Rivals, Senior Executive Says

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iPhone maker Apple, the target of EU antitrust investigations into key segments of its business, on Tuesday rejected accusations of market dominance, saying it competes with Google, Samsung, and other rivals.

Earlier this month, the European Commission opened investigations into Apple’s App Store and mobile payment system Apple Pay, concerned about its role as a gatekeeper to its lucrative platform.

“We compete with a wide variety of companies, Google, Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, LG, Lenovo, and many more,” Daniel Matray, head of Apple’s App Store and Apple Media Services, told a Forum Europe online event.

“In fact, Apple does not have a dominant position in any market, and we face strong competition in every category, in tablets, wearables, desktop and notebook computers, maps, music, payments, messaging, and more,” he said.

Matray defended Apple’s App Store, saying the same rules apply to all developers, large and small, with 85 percent of apps not required to pay a 30 percent fee to the company which is only valid for those which use its in-app payment service.

The EU is investigating whether this requirement and rules preventing developers from informing users of cheaper products elsewhere are anti-competitive.

It is also probing Apple’s terms and conditions on how its mobile payment service Apple Pay should be used in merchants’ apps and websites, and also the company’s refusal to allow rivals access to the payment system.

The EU investigations were prompted by a complaint by Swedish music streaming service Spotify and an e-book rival.

Matray said the App Store has boosted competition, rather than harmed rivals.

“In the nearly 12 years since the App Store debuted, the best measure of its success is the dynamism it has unleashed and the state of the app economy today,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Apple Modifies App Review Process After Outcry, Will Let Developers ‘Challenge’ Guidelines

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Apple on Monday said it would let software developers “challenge” the guidelines that govern its app review process and will end its practice of blocking routine bug fixes over minor violations. Apple’s App Store is the only way for developers to distribute their software to consumers’ iPhones and iPads. Apple keeps between 15 percent and 30 percent of revenues generated by developers in the store, making it a key part of its growth strategy as the pace of iPhone upgrades has slowed.

To get into the store, apps undergo a review process governed by Apple guidelines. Some rules, such as requiring apps to offer an option to use Apple’s in-app purchasing and split revenues with the iPhone maker, have become a flash point.

Software makers have long been able to appeal Apple’s rulings, but several told Reuters they are frustrated by the fact Apple retains the final say.

AWeber, a Pennsylvania-based maker of email marketing software, went back and forth with Apple for months last year over whether it needed to remove account creation links from its app and add in-app purchasing.

“They’d flag something, we would make some modifications, and they would flag something different,” Tom Kulzer, the company’s chief executive, told Reuters.

In a news release, Apple said it will now provide a “mechanism” for developers to “challenge” the guidelines. A spokesman declined to elaborate.

Apple also said it will no longer delay routine bug fixes over App Store guideline violations unless they relate to “legal issues,” instead requiring fixes at the next major release.

Developers said those delays angered customers.

“The fact you don’t learn about it until you’re trying to push a bug fix has a really negative impact on customers,” said Andy Fowler, chief technology officer at Michigan-based sales software maker Nutshell.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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