Powerbeats Pro Now Available to Order in UK, France and Germany

Apple's Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones officially went on sale today in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, as predicted. However, the fitness-focused, Beats-branded earphones are only available in black, and stock appears to be limited.


As of writing, Apple's online UK store is switching between allowing customers to add the earphones to their bag, and graying out the Add to Bag button to prevent them from doing so. Delivery dates are also flipping between June 6-10 and "coming soon."

If you're having trouble ordering Powerbeats Pro via Apple's online store, try the Apple Store iOS app, as it appears to be allowing more orders to go to checkout. Customers can also try their luck ordering through the Beats website, which is quoting similar delivery dates.

Powerbeats Pro cost £219.95 in the UK and 249.95 euros in France and Germany. They're Apple's first totally wireless Beats earphones, featuring the same H1 chip as the second-generation AirPods for hands-free "Hey Siri" and faster connection speeds between the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other devices. They last up to nine hours per charge, with more battery life available on the go via an included charging case.

Powerbeats Pro are similar to traditional earbuds, with silicone tips that nestle in the ear and an earhook to hold them firmly in place. The silicone tips come in four sizes, but the earhooks, which wrap around the ear, are one size, and make sure the Powerbeats Pro stay firmly in place during physical activity.

The earphones are initially available in black only, with ivory, moss, and navy colors set to become available this summer, although Apple cautions that color availability is subject to change.

Powerbeats Pro have been on sale in Canada and the U.S. since early May. In June they will be available in Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, and Brazil in June.

For more info on Powerbeats Pro, check out our Powerbeats Pro guide.


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Powerbeats Pro Orders Begin This Friday in UK, France, and Germany

Apple's totally wireless Powerbeats Pro earphones become available to pre-order in the United Kingdom on May 31, according to a social media ad posted on the official Beats By Dre U.K. Twitter account.


The date was spotted in the small print at the end of the 15-second video short, which features British professional boxer Anthony Joshua and touts the nine hours of listening time offered by the fitness-focused earphones. The promotional ad originally went out on May 27.

The black Powerbeats Pro have been available to pre-order since May 3 in the United States and Canada, with the first deliveries to customers arriving on May 10. However, they remain listed as "coming soon" on Apple's online U.K. store, while fine print on the Beats website for the U.K., France, and Germany simply states that the earphones will begin their rollout later in May.

Extrapolating from the U.K. date in the ad, and given how late in the month we now are, it's highly likely that Powerbeats Pro will also be available to pre-order in black in France and Germany from this Friday, May 31.

According to the fine print on other regional Beats websites, Powerbeats Pro will be available in Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, and Brazil in June.

The earphones are initially available in black only, with ivory, moss, and navy colors set to become available this summer in the United States and Canada, and most of the countries listed above, although Apple cautions that color availability is subject to change.


Powerbeats Pro are Apple's first totally wireless Beats earphones, featuring the same H1 chip as the second-generation AirPods for hands-free "Hey Siri" and faster connection speeds between the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other devices.

The Powerbeats Pro feature adjustable, secure-fit ear hooks and earbud tips with four size options. As mentioned, they last up to nine hours per charge, with more battery life available on the go via an included charging case.

Powerbeats Pro are priced at $249.95 in the United States, $329.95 in Canada, £219.95 in the United Kingdom, and $349.95 in Australia.

Thanks, Chris!


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Apple Pay Expands to BNP Paribas and HSBC Banks in France

Apple Pay adoption received a big boost in France today as two major banks officially announced their support for Apple's mobile payment system.


HSBC officially launched a dedicated support page for Apple Pay, confirming an earlier discovery by French tech news site iphon.fr.

Meanwhile, BNP Paribas made good on an announcement last month to bring Apple Pay support to its customers by announcing the compatibility of its Visa bank card with Apple's digital wallet on compatible Apple devices.


BNP Paribas and HSBC join 25 other banks that support Apple Pay in the country, although Apple has yet to update its European Apple Pay bank partners page to reflect the change.

Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014 and has since expanded to many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Japan, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, Poland, Ireland, and Ukraine.

(Thanks, Adrian!)

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: France

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Apple Agrees Deal With France to Pay Back-Taxes

Apple has reached a deal with France to pay an undeclared amount of back-dated tax, according to multiple reports today.


Apple's French division confirmed the tax payment agreement to Reuters, but didn't disclose how much it had agreed to pay, although French media have suggest the sum is around 500 million euros ($571 million).
"As a multinational company, Apple is regularly audited by fiscal authorities around the world," Apple France said in a statement. "The French tax administration recently concluded a multi-year audit on the company's French accounts, and those details will be published in our public accounts."
France has been working diligently to stop tech companies like Apple from exploiting tax loopholes in the country. The loopholes are said to have allowed Apple to "minimize taxes and grab market share" at the expense of Europe-based companies.

French President Emmanuel Macron is one of the leaders behind the tax crackdown on international tech companies, with a goal of bringing a more unified corporate tax system across the nineteen euro area states.

Apple has had trouble with tax activist groups accusing the company of wide-scale tax evasion and occupying its Parisian retail stores. In February 2018, Apple sued the activist group "Attac" for its protests in stores, but the High Court of Paris denied Apple's request for an injunction that would have blocked the group from protesting.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: France, tax

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Apple Previews New Champs-Élysées Store in Paris, Opening This Sunday

Apple today officially announced its latest retail store, Apple Champs-Élysées in Paris, located on one of the French city's most iconic streets. The store opens on Sunday and will replace the nearby Apple Carrousel du Louvre, which permanently closed in October.

The store occupies a Haussmann-era apartment building, featuring what Apple is calling its "grandest" Forum dedicated to free Today at Apple sessions, which focus on photography, music, coding, and design. In the first week, Apple Champs-Élysées will host sessions with popular musicians, filmmakers, animators and more.

"The energy in Paris is electric and it will be one of our premier cities for Today at Apple," said Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of Retail. "I hope that everyone who visits Apple Champs-Élysées will be inspired to unlock their creative curiosity and learn something new."
Apple has restored the facade and entryway, and extended the Burgundy stone from the exterior throughout the building. Meanwhile on the upper levels, French oak parquet floors detail the interconnected spaces of the Parisian apartment.

"Working within a historic Parisian building is a great responsibility and a phenomenal opportunity," said Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer. "Our first priority was to honor the history of the building, while thoughtfully updating it to create spaces both grand and intimate. The carefully interweaving layers are warm and light filled, celebrating the timeless spirit of the city."
Environmental concerns have also played a part in the architectural design at Apple Champs-Élysées. For example, the courtyard is covered by a roof light that provides natural illumination and helps generate renewable energy, thanks to integrated photovoltaic panels. In addition, an integrated rainwater collection system provides water for the bathrooms, trees and green walls, ensuring the store maintains Apple's commitment to 100 percent renewable energy.

More than 330 employees, including over 100 new hires, will welcome customers when Apple Champs-Élysées opens its doors on Sunday at 12.00 p.m. local time.


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Apple Pay Cash Likely to Launch in Europe Imminently

Apple Pay Cash, Apple's mobile peer-to-peer payments service, could be available sooner rather than later in some European markets.

French tech blog iPhon.fr reports today that an iPhone user in France discovered screens on his new Apple Watch and iPhone XS Max overnight inviting him to set up Apple Pay Cash using a credit card issued by a French bank. Similar reports are also coming in from Apple device owners in other European countries.


Apple Pay Cash arrived on iOS devices in December 2017, although it's currently only officially available to users in the United States. The system allows for quick person-to-person money transfers, much like competing services Square Cash and Venmo.

In addition to the setup screens shared over social media, an Apple support page for Apple Pay Cash has been discovered localized in German that went live on Apple's servers on September 30.


Apple Pay Cash can be transmitted via iMessage and funds are instantly added to the recipient's Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app.

When new users receive money for the first time, the funds are added to their new Apple Pay Cash card once they accept Apple's terms. The card's funds can then be used to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, in apps, and on supported websites, or withdrawn to a bank account within one to three business days.

When Apple Pay Cash does arrive outside the U.S., Apple device owners wanting to use it will need an iPhone 6 and later, iPhone SE, any iPad Pro model, a fifth-generation iPad, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 3 running iOS 11.2 or later.

Update: One MacRumors reader has found a link to an Apple Pay Cash support page localized for Austria, while support pages have also been discovered for Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Russia.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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HomePod Now Available to Order in Canada, France, and Germany

Nearly five months after the HomePod launched in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, Apple today expanded availability of the Siri-enabled speaker to customers in Canada, France, and Germany.


HomePod is available in white and space gray for $449 in Canada and €349 in Germany and France via Apple's online store and the Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad. It's also available at Apple's retail stores in each country, and at select authorized resellers, including Best Buy in Canada.

Apple recently pushed a software update to the HomePod that enables Siri to speak in French, German, and Canadian English. Apple's website notes that support for Canadian French is coming later this year.

The software update, paired with iOS 11.4, also introduced support for stereo sound and multi-room audio via AirPlay 2. It also enables users to check calendar appointments on the HomePod by asking Siri.

HomePods could already be used abroad in countries outside of the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, but Siri's language options were limited to American, Australian, and British dialects of English, and certain features like Siri's ability to read the news or play music charts were lacking.

While the HomePod has received rave reviews about its sound quality, critics believe the speaker has exposed Siri's shortcomings. Siri Shortcuts should help in that regard, enabling users to connect certain third-party apps to Siri to greatly streamline voice controls with app-specific actions.

In terms of what's next for HomePod, a few rumors have suggested that Apple could release a lower priced version of the speaker later this year or next, although it could end up being a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

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HomePod Now Supports French, German, and Canadian English, While Canadian French Coming Later This Year

Apple today announced that the HomePod will be available in Canada, France, and Germany beginning June 18, but ahead of then, the speaker has gained support for languages and dialects spoken in each country.


Today's new 11.4 software update for HomePod enables Siri to speak in French, German, and Canadian English in any region, including the United States. Apple says Canadian French will be added in a subsequent software update coming later this year, but it has not provided a specific timeframe as of yet.

The new software update should be pushed to the HomePod automatically after updating to iOS 11.4 on a paired iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but it can also be installed manually through the speaker's settings in the Home app.

To change a HomePod's default language, open the Home app on a paired iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 11.4, 3D Touch or long press on the HomePod's icon, tap on Details, and tap on Languages. There are now six languages, including the previous options of U.S. English, U.K. English, and Australian English.


Canadian residents who purchased a HomePod in the United States, for example, can now switch from American English to Canadian English.

While the switch from American English to Canadian English doesn't yield any significant differences, it does allow the language of a paired iOS device to be set back to Canadian English as well, as in Canada, a HomePod and paired iOS device must be set to the same language for Siri to deliver Personal Requests.

Despite support for Canadian English, the HomePod still isn't completely localized for Canada, as Siri still doesn't work with music charts, for example, as demonstrated by MacRumors reader Pedro Marques in the video below.


Of course, the HomePod should gain support for additional languages as it launches in more countries in the future.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

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HomePod Launching in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18

Apple today announced that its HomePod speaker will be available in Canada, France, and Germany on June 18, according to BuzzFeed News.


The smart speaker originally launched in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, with orders going live on January 26 ahead of a February 9 debut. At the time, Apple announced that HomePod would launch in France and Germany "this spring".

Pricing and other details should be available shortly.

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Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

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Apple Denies Abusing French Developers, Says They’ve Earned 1 Billion Euros From App Store

Apple has issued a statement defending against allegations made by France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who earlier this week accused the iPhone maker of treating French startups and developers unfairly.


In the statement, loosely translated from French to English, Apple said it has "strong relationships" with French developers, and added that they have collectively earned one billion euros in revenue from the App Store.

Le Figaro via MacGeneration:
We are proud to have strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France, who have earned 1 billion euros on the App Store. Many of these talented developers founded their companies with one or two people and then saw their teams grow to offer their applications to users in 155 countries. This was only possible thanks to Apple's investment in iOS, development tools, and the App Store. Apple has always defended the confidentiality and security of users and does not have access to user transactions with third-party applications. We are fully prepared to share our history in the French courts and to clarify this misunderstanding. In the meantime, we will continue to help French developers realize their dreams and support French students in their learning of the code through our coding program.
Le Maire said France will be taking Apple and Google to court in Paris for "abusive trade practices." In a radio interview, he mentioned that Apple and Google "take all their data" and "can unilaterally rewrite their contracts."
"I learned that when developers develop their applications, and sell to Google and Apple, their prices are imposed, Google and Apple take all their data, Google and Apple can unilaterally rewrite their contracts," Le Maire said in an interview with RTL radio. "All that is unacceptable and it’s not the economy that we want. They can’t treat our startups and developers the way they do."

"I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices," Le Maire said.
It's not very clear what Le Maire is referring to exactly. It's possible the bit about prices being "imposed" refers to the 30 percent cut that Apple and Google collect from sales of apps and in-app purchases, but his comments were vague.


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