AWT News Update: July 27, 2015

Today, we go around the world with Apple World Today. News stories from all over the globe include:

  • Google+ profiles won't be linked to other Google products in the future
  • Apple Watches will soon be available at Best Buy
  • Apple is adding 500 authorized resellers in India, which explains the odd image at the top of this page
  • France and Sweden -- or at least major cities in the countries -- get visited by the Apple Maps vans starting on Saturday
  • An iPhone counterfeiting factory in Beijing has been shut down
  • eBay will be trimming the number of iOS apps it has

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Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 27, 2015.

If you’re like many of us who love technology, you fell for Google+ when it was first introduced, thinking that it would turn into a real social network. Well, that never really happened, and now Google seems to realize that as well. For years, any time you’ve wanted to create a Gmail account, set up a Hangout, or make your own YouTube Channel, the company has automatically set you up with a Google+ account. Now Bradley Horowitz, the Google VP of sharing, says that “it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use.” At some point soon, there will be an option to remove that public profile that has followed you around. Thanks, Google.

There’s another sign that production of the Apple Watch has finally met demand; on August 7, you’ll be able to buy a Watch online or in select brick-and-mortar Best Buy stores. The company plans to expand distribution to over 300 of its stores by the holiday shopping season. You won’t be able to buy the solid gold Apple Watch Edition at the stores, but the Apple Watch Sport and stainless steel Apple Watch versions will be available.

Apple is making inroads into another major world market, starting with the addition of 500 resellers in 12 cities in India. At the present time, the company has already selected over a hundred of the resellers, and more will be in place later this year. This follows news a few weeks ago that Foxconn may start producing iPhones and other Apple products at new plants in the subcontinent.

Let’s travel around the world a bit more, to France and Sweden. Apple’s Maps vans will be traveling around a number of cities in those two countries, as well as even more places in the US and UK soon. Most of Paris, France as well as Stockholm and Malmo in Sweden will start seeing the vans on the streets on or around August 1.

A very sophisticated iPhone counterfeiting factory in Beijing, China has been shut down, with nine arrests being made in connection with the company involved. Reuters says that the factory produced over 41,000 fake iPhones valued at about $19 million. Some of the phones made it to the US, and US authorities tipped off the Beijing police on what was going on. The factory had six assembly lines and hundreds of workers, using second-hand components that were repackaged as real iPhones. Still, I wonder if any of them made their way into the fake Apple stores that have popped up in China, complete with retail workers sporting the familiar Apple logo t-shirts and identity badges…

Finally, eBay is getting rid of a few of its mobile apps in the near future. The Valet, Fashion, and eBay Motors apps will be decommissioned between now and the end of the year, with the main eBay app picking up some of the features of those other apps in the process. If you’re an eBay regular, be sure to keep the iPhone and iPad apps updated.

Please note that the AWT News Update may or may not be available every day this week due to some personal issues. I’ll attempt to get you the news, but be forewarned that I may miss a day or two… or three. We’ll get back to a regular schedule next week.