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News roundup for December 26, 2013


Good afternoon! Here's what's going on in the Apple world today.

  • On the first day after Christmas, Apple's 12 Days of of Gifts has given to us... a free Justin Timberlake album. Yay? If you're a Timberlake fan, you can download this exclusive EP of songs performed during this year's iTunes Festival until tomorrow, when day two's gift goes live.
  • On Tuesday, Electronista reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook was looking to visit Turkey as part of an effort to seal a US$4 billion deal to sell the country somewhere between 12 million and 13 million iPads and open the country's first Apple Store. But now, there's hints that a political scandal in Turkey could derail the mission. Three top government officials resigned on Dec. 25, and there's pressure for the prime minister to follow suit. If he does, it could put that lucrative deal for Apple in jeopardy.
  • We're big fans of the Fukubukuro grab bags that Japanese shoppers can buy on New Year's Day, and once again, Apple will be offering its Lucky Bags in that country. They go for $345 (36,000 yen) and normally contain smaller-ticket items such as iPods and accessories. But, as shown last year, a few people walked away with iPads and MacBook Airs. Here's a site where you can see what people managed to score with 2013's Lucky Bags.
  • A press release from IBM reveals that of online shoppers who made purchases from their mobile devices, sales to iOS users were five times greater than those to Android users during the holiday season. The statement notes that iOS users spent an average of $93.94 per order versus $48.10 for Android. However, as Business Insider notes in its write-up, IBM's data is only for the US and the situation may vary in other countries. Still, this data matches up with the Black Friday numbers from this year and years past, indicating that the wide discrepancy between Android device sales and actual usage is apparently real.
  • After several days of controversy, the Evasi0n jailbreak team has announced that it has dropped the Chinese TaiG app store from its jailbreak software and that it has not received money from TaiG or any other group. The team also said that it's working to fix the problems with the latest jailbreak, however the holidays are slowing down the process.
  • The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission has levied a $670,000 fine (roughly 20 million Taiwan dollars) against Apple for working with carriers to maintain certain pricing for the iPhone. If Apple doesn't comply with the order, the Wall Street Journal reports, another 50 million Taiwan dollars will be added to the fine.
  • If you're looking for a Dropbox alternative, check out the Everydisk Kickstarter from the Avatron folks. They're looking to raise $50,000 to launch Everydisk as a self-hosted cloud service that allows you to access files and devices on all your computers via the cloud. Avatron, the maker of Air Display and Air Connect, says that privacy will be maintained through a direct AES-encrypted data channel between the machines. As the Kickstarter states, the remote machines will behave like they're simply plugged in, and you can access any additional drives, printers or other resources connected to those remote computers.
  • A Futurelooks editor decided to build a Windows machine to rival the newly released Mac Pro, just to see what the cost would be. The result? Stephen Fung wrote that to build the Windows equivalent of the $9,599 Mac Pro he configured, you would have to shell out more than $11,530. However, the Windows machine does leave you open to some future component upgrades, while the Mac Pro has more limited upgrade options. Even at the entry level, you can get a ready-made Mac Pro for 33 percent less than an equivalent Windows machine.

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