China – Apple Problems

For Students Studying Abroad in China–Be Aware that both Apple and Google-Based products (i.e. almost all western phones other than Apple) often have significant issues working in China. It’s better to just count on not having access to those tools and renting a phone in China itself.**DB

“Apple’s iBooks, iTunes Movies mysteriously suspended in China; customers want refunds”

by Julie Makinen via “LA Times”


Chinese customers of Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks services are seeking refunds on their purchases amid reports that the features have been suspended at the behest of government authorities.

Apple has not issued any statement to customers in China about the status of the services, but many users report that they have been unable to connect to the movie service and iBooks since April 15.

A Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman said: “We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” but she would not elaborate on why the services were unavailable.

The Chinese government has not issued any statement on the matter. However, the New York Times, citing two anonymous sources, said the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television had ordered the services offline, though it was unclear why.

Apple’s App Store revenue has surged in China in the last year, overtaking Japan as the world’s No. 2 market for the service, according to App Annie.

Apple technical assistance and account service representatives, reached by phone in China, said they had received no official notice from the company that the services had been blocked or shut down. They offered to arrange refunds on purchased content. . . .


“Tips for Using Your Cellphone Abroad”

“Tips for Using Your Cellphone Abroad”

by Kari Bodnarchuk via “The Globe Correspondent

Sending your Paris cellphone photos home could cost an ocean of money.

“Keeping connected by cellphone while outside the United States can be one of travel’s most maddening experiences, and can quickly — and often unknowingly — blow your budget. Plan ahead and you can save a bundle and still stay (or be) in touch. Consider the following tips as you plan your foreign travels.


For most US cellphone carriers, plans can be pricey. Find out what type of calling and data plan you can get through your local carrier, and what it covers at your destination. If you’re a T-Mobile customer, check out the company’s new rate plan, Simple Choice, which offers unlimited data and text messaging in more than 120 countries, and incoming or outgoing calls at 20 cents per minute while outside the country. Data transfers at 2G speeds internationally, but you can pay extra for increased speed.


“Most of the rest of the world (with the notable exception of Japan) operates on GSM technology, so if you are traveling internationally, you must have a GSM-capable phone or it won’t work with local SIM cards,” says Barbara Weibel, a globetrotter currently traveling in Thailand.


After landing at your destination, buy a prepaid SIM card, often for just a few dollars, and add credit. You will generally pay less if you purchase a card outside the airport. To avoid frustration (it’s not always a smooth and glitch-free process), go to a local cellphone office or department store and find a knowledgeable salesperson who can help with setup, and who may let you return the SIM card on the spot if it doesn’t work. Once you’re up and running, cards can typically be topped up at a phone store, service station, newsstand, post office, or other local spot, or by calling a toll-free number. . . . .”


“Traveling with Mobile Gear: Tips from a Veteran”

“Traveling with Mobile Gear: Tips from a Veteran”

by James Kendrick via “Mobile News

“Business travelers and vacationers carry more mobile gear than ever. Bringing the smartphone is a must for both groups, and odds are there is at least a tablet coming along. The more gear you bring, the more you have to plan to make sure it all works as intended. These simple tips will make sure the gadgets keep working the entire trip.  . . . .”