Apple has introduced a new cancellation feature for digital content in several European countries, including the UK, Germany, and France. The new policy allows customers in applicable countries to essentially "return" digital purchases from iTunes, including apps, music, and books, for a refund within 14 days of purchase.
Apple has reportedly hired Mary Carol Harris, head of mobile for Visa Europe. Harris has years of experience with digital payments, having previously worked on NFC payments at Telefonica. It's very likely that Harris will play a major role in Apple's efforts to bring their Apple Pay payment system to Europe.
Apple has won the right to register the layout of its iconic retail stores as a trademark in Europe, thanks to the EU court of justice overruling a German verdict saying otherwise. The company has already trademarked its store designs in the U.S. From the signature wooden tables holding up its products to the glass front with the massive branding signage, Apple has made it an experience beyond purchasing physical products.
Regulators for the European Union are taking a look at Apple's deal to buy Beats Electronics, and will decide if the deal can go through by the end of July. The European Commission can accept the deal completely, accept it with concessions from Apple, reject it, or open a deeper investigation. If the deal is approved, Apple will acquire Beats for $3 billion.
The European Commission has announced that charges to roam within Europe will fall by as much as 50 percent this summer. The EC is imposing yet another limit on mobile operators, further reducing the caps from July 1 to pave the way for removing roaming charges altogether by 2016. Currently, calls within the EU are capped at 24 euro cents per minute but will fall to 19 cents per minute. More importantly (particularly in 2014 and beyond), the fee for using data abroad is falling too.
Should you be travelling through the Eurotunnel today, you'll be able to enjoy mobile connectivity depending on which mobile operator you're currently subscribed to. Vodafone and EE have infrastructure in place to take loads from today, while O2 UK will be going live soon. Utilizing a fibre optic retransmission system, operators have made it possible for passengers to enjoy stable connectivity.
Free roaming within the European Union is a step closer today, after the European parliament voted in favor of laws that would abolish roaming fees between EU member states, as part of a package of telecom reforms. The package, originally proposed by EU lawmaker Neelie Kroes, moves Europe closer to a single market for mobile communication, especially with the recent arrival of 4G LTE roaming agreements between European carriers.
Call this something of a turn up for the books, but Apple's European stores have just come back up with the Black Friday promotion, and it's not like the Australian deal we've already seen. Europe is seeing discounted prices instead of free gift cards. The discounts are modest, but for those of us this side of the Atlantic where Black Friday isn't really a thing, it's a chance to get some money off that Apple product you've been eying up.
This week sees Europe's annual cheese-fest, otherwise known as the annual Eurovision Song Contest. About this time every year, contenders from across Europe descend upon the nation that won the year before, and prepare to do battle in the Euro-pop arena. I'm not a fan myself, but plenty of folks are -- around 100 million people are expected to tune in to watch the contest live. And, to enhance the experience a little further, is the official Eurovision Song Contest app for iOS.