Europe

European Union vote clears the way to end roaming charges, enforce net neutrality

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.

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Black Friday discounts go live in European Apple Stores

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.

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Join in the Eurovision party with the official Eurovision app for iOS

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.

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Competitors who aren't Apple lodge antitrust complaint against Google in Europe

Google competitors have lodged an antitrust complaint against the company with the European Union. Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and others, all under the name Fairsearch Europe, have alleged that Google is using Android’s dominant market position to provide an advantage for Google apps.

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Base European App Store prices rise from €0.79 to €0.89

According to numerous European readers, the lowest App Store price tier has just changed from €0.79 to €0.89 (to put that in rough perspective, imagine the U.S. base price going from $0.99 to $1.12). Whether that reflects updated exchange rates or other factors of doing business in Europe, including taxes and other charges, is unknown at this time.

If you're seeing higher prices in your local App Store, let us know what they are, and what the difference is.

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BlackBerry maker RIM meets Apple half-way on nano-SIM design

RIM recently proposed a new nano-SIM card design to counter one proposal made by Apple to the the European Telecommunications Standards Instititute.

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iOS gamers spend five times more money on games than Android gamers

Most players on iPhone and iPad tend to spend more money than those playing on an Android device -- five times more, to be exact. This according to a Newzoo study that examined the growth of mobile gaming in Europe and North America. It showed that there are now 101 million American mobile gamers, 69% of which are playing on smartphones and 21% play on tablets. Of them, iPhone claimed 19 million gamers, which is 28% of everyone that plays games on a smartphone. Surprisingly, the iPod touch managed to snag nearly as many with 18 million players. As you might expect, the iPad rocks the tablet gaming world with 12.7 million gamers (a 60% slice of the whole tablet pie).

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New iPad launches in South Korea and a dozen more international markets

As expected, the third wave of Retina-grade iPads are hitting a few more international markets today. Now South Korea, Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela can enjoy the latest and greatest iOS tablet.

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Apple pushing nano-SIM standard on Motorola, RIM and Nokia

Apple is butting heads with RIM, Motorola, and Nokia over the next evolution of SIM card sizes. After paving the way for the micro-SIM format, which has since been adopted by Nokia for their Lumia series, Apple is now putting pressure on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to recognize their nano-SIM format as the next industry standard.

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Apple claims Motorola used FRAND patents to try an extort cross-licensing deal

According to some EU court documents, Motorola and Apple had talked about hashing out a licensing deal in late 2011. Given their rough and ongoing patent battles, it's no surprise to hear Apple claim in the documents that their "refusal to accede to this demand led Motorola Mobility to sue Apple in an attempt to exclude Apple’s products from the market.”

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