I live in Viterbo, a small town in Lazio, Italy, not too far away from Rome. My town is a beautiful place to visit with a rich history behind its Etruscan origins; unfortunately, it is often vastly undervalued by its citizens and municipal administration. My town lives and breathes in history, but very few people seem to appreciate its roots.
I took a walk in the center of my town today, and I ended up gazing upon an original Apple I. And an Apple II. And a Lisa. And a Macintosh. Today, the medieval buildings that make Viterbo an evocative architectural tapestry of art and history became, for a moment, a gallery for the modern history of technology.
Thanks to the efforts of Medioera, a festival of “digital culture” at its third annual edition here in Viterbo, Marco Boglione’s original Apple I gained a prominent spot in the gorgeous Piazza del Gesù (take a look at the location) alongside other Apple computers from the 70′s and 80′s, as well as Atari, Commodore, and IBM machines. (more…)
Earlier today, Apple updated its Terms and Conditions for the Italian iTunes Store to include information about iTunes Match, the company’s music service powered by iCloud. Launched in November 2011 in the United States (here’s our original hands-on), the service was later brought to more countries on December 15 and January 17, including South America, the UK, and other European countries.
Lei può abbonarsi a iTunes Match pagando un canone annuale. Per abbonarsi Lei deve aver registrato una carta di credito valida nell’archivio di iTunes. L’abbonamento non è rimborsabile (salvo richiesto dalla legge applicabile), e si rinnoverà automaticamente per periodi di un anno finché Lei non lo cancellerà. Il Suo account sarà addebitato non più di 24 ore prima della scadenza del periodo di abbonamento corrente. Lei può annullare il rinnovo automatico modificando le impostazioni dell’account iTunes Store sul Suo computer. Lei non sarà più in grado di accedere ai Suoi Contenuti iTunes Match su iTunes Match dopo la scadenza del Suo periodo di abbonamento.
Back in March, it was reported that Apple was holding a series of meetings with SIAE — the Italian association that represents “artists and editors” — to get the green light on launching iTunes Match in Italy.
According to Apple’s official support document about iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud availability, Italy still isn’t listed among the countries with support for Match and iTunes in the Cloud; as of today, iTunes Match is available in 37 countries worldwide.
Whilst the update of iTunes’ terms and conditions to include additional iTunes Match certainly confirms the company has made progress on obtaining rights to launch the service, it should also be noted that, back in February, Japan was rumored to be getting support for iTunes Match soon. In the case of Japan, however, only support for iTunes in the Cloud was spotted (and was eventually launched), whilst today’s updated agreement specifically mentions iTunes Match in Italy. (more…)
(The location of the Apple Store at Porta di Roma. Image via Macity)
As first noted by setteBIT, Apple officially acknowledged the existence of its 10th retail store in Italy, at the Porta di Roma shopping mall. As previously reported, the retail store is rumored to be opening on Saturday, April 21, albeit no official confirmation in regards to the grand opening has been made yet. The “Galleria Porta di Roma” shopping mall, located near the GRA highway of Rome, is open from 9 AM to 10 PM during the weekends, and it includes 220 retail stores. The new store’s dedicated webpage will be available here.
Two weeks ago, a rumor suggested the Porta di Roma Apple retail store would open on April 21st; on the same day every year, the city of Rome commemorates its founding in 753 BC, The celebration is known as “Natale di Roma” (Birthday of Rome), and such date would certainly provide an opportunity for Apple to play around the marketing tagline of the store opening.
Apple’s first retail store in Italy opened in April 2007 at Roma Est, another shopping mall located outside Rome. The new Apple store at Porta di Roma will be the company no. 365 worldwide, Italy’s 10th, and the 118th to open outside the United States.
According to a report by Italian website Macity [Google Translation], Apple’s upcoming retail store in Via Roma, Turin, will become Italy’s “most important” one as it debuts later this year, with an opening date apparently set for September 2012. Citing “sources with access to information about the new store”, Macity claims the store in Via Roma will cover an approximate area of 1000 square meters (10763 square feet, possibly including warehouse and back of the store) on two floors. Previously owned by Mondadori, the empty store is now being completely emptied so to let Apple rebuild it to fit the store’s style, which will be “different” from the current retail stores in Italy (9 out of 10 are located in shopping malls, with the exception of Via Rizzoli). Last, according to Macity, once open, the new store will be as “prestigious” as other Apple retail stores in Europe, specifically in France and the United Kingdom.
Apple was long rumored to be on the verge of launching a new flagship store in Milan, although the company didn’t manage to get permissions from the city, losing an auction for the Galleria space to fashion firm Prada. The new store in Via Roma will join Apple’s other store in Turin, at Le Gru. [via GGD Milano]
Apple’s online store with updated prices
Apple today took down its online store in Italy, raising prices for several products in order to account for Italy’s increase of value-added tax (VAT, known as IVA — “imposta sul valore aggiunto” — in Italy) from 20% to 21% as part of the recently approved austerity bill.
iOS devices have seen a small bump in prices with the 1% VAT increase. The 16 GB iPad 2, for instance, rises from € 479 to € 483; the 32 GB and 64 GB models have changed to € 583,83 and € 684,65, respectively. The entry-level iPhone 4 rises from € 539 to 543,50; the iPod touch goes from € 239 to € 241. The iPod line sees another minor bump with the iPod nano (€ 169 to € 170,40), iPod shuffle (€ 55 to € 55,45) and iPod classic (€ 247 to € 249,05). The Apple TV goes from € 119 to € 120.
As for the Mac, the biggest change can be seen in the standard configuration of the Mac Pro, updated from € 2399 to € 2419. Apple’s online store just came back online, and its VAT (IVA) footnote still reports 20%. Changes, however, can be compared in the screenshots above and below.
When the UK’s VAT rate changed from 17.5% to 20% earlier this year, Apple took down its online store to modify the prices accordingly, without absorbing the tax increase by reducing their prices.
Apple’s online store before the VAT increase
[image via setteB.IT]
Apple will this Saturday hold two Apple Store grand openings on opposite ends of the world with one opening in Italy and the other in Australia. The new Australian Apple Store is located in Cheltenham Victoria within the Westfield Southland shopping centre. Dubbed the Southland Apple Store, it will become the twelfth Apple Store within Australia and third within the state of Victoria.
Over in Italy Apple will be opening a new store in Florence located within the I Gigli suburban shopping center — as we reported earlier this year it is on the ground floor of the shopping center and faces a large circular courtyard. The I Gigli Apple Store will be opening at 9:00am this Saturday, August 13th whilst the Southland store in Australia opens at 10:00am this Saturday after the local media have a period for photo opportunities.
It was noted last month that Apple was expecting to open 30 new Apple Stores by September 30th, after these two store openings this Saturday Apple has 26 left with less than two months to accomplish that goal.
[Via Delimiter, ifoAppleStore]
The trusted source on new Apple Store openings, ifoAppleStore, is today reporting on two new Apple stores in Spain and Italy that are currently undergoing construction. The new Italy store is expected to be opened in the I Gigli suburban shopping center in Florence, located on the ground floor and facing a large circular courtyard. Based on documents that were posted on the traditional black barricade, the stores construction will be completed in August, suggesting an early September opening.
The third Apple store in Spain, is set to be a spectacle, occupying all seven levels of the historic building at #1 Puerta del Sol in Madrid, overlooking the large city plaza (pictured above). The historic 1863 building is currently being restored and renovated. The retail store is then expected to operate on at least two levels and the basement. As for the other levels, ifoAppleStore speculates that they may be used as administrative offices for Apple, meeting rooms or training space. Madrid’s mayor revealed the plans last week when he confirmed to reporters that Apple was leasing the entire building. The building, which has an iconic “Tio Pepe” electronic sign will be returned to the building after renovations are complete. The store will most likely open early next year, with significant construction work still to be completed.
Remember the Apple I that was auctioned off at Christie’s in London last year, and was sold for roughly $220,000? It turns out, the machine was bought by Italian entrepreneur Marco Boglione, a long-time Apple user and fan who spent €150,000 to buy the #82 copy of the original Apple I — a computer that back in the 1970′s was sold by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Jobs’ garage at $666.66, and was the first machine to come with 8K of RAM. The item sold at Christie’s to Boglione included the original motherboard, manual and a letter from Steve Jobs, but no screen or keyboard.
The computer was rebooted for the first time in years today at the Politecnico di Torino university in front of a large crowd and Boglione himself. Italian website Macity, which was there to cover the event, reports [Google Translation] after an initial technical issue that was fixed in a couple of minutes the Apple I was able to start up, display its usual list of random characters upon booting (while connected to an external display and keyboard this time), the typical blinking cursor and then, after running a simple BASIC program, a sort of “Hello World” message appropriately changed to “Hello Polito” in honor of the school that hosted the event.
Boglione and other attendees went on to stress the importance of the Apple I, and the revolution in the computing space Jobs and Wozniak started 35 years ago in a garage in California. Apple has become the tech giant we all know today, but the very first computer produced by the “visionary and the engineer” is still here to remind us how great ideas and technology survive through time.
Check out a video of the booting process and a photo of the motherboard below. (more…)
Apple just posted a press release confirming that the iPad 2 will launch in 25 more countries this Friday, thus denying the rumors of a delay we heard in these past days. The iPad 2 will be available at Apple retail stores and authorized resellers at 5 PM, with online orders starting at 1 AM. The device will be released in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and “other countries” in April.
Apple® today announced that iPad® 2, the second-generation of its third post-PC device, will go on sale in 25 additional countries this Friday, March 25. iPad 2 will be available at Apple retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers at 5 p.m. local time, and online through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) beginning at 1 a.m. Apple today also announced that all models of iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April.
This is the Italian pricing (and hopefully the same of other countries with Euro currency): €479,00 for the WiFi 16 GB model, €579,00 for the WiFi 32 GB model and €679,00 for WiFi 64 GB. The WiFi + 3G models will be available for €599,00, €699,00 and €799,00.
UK pricing: £399.00 for the 16GB model, £479.00 for the 32GB model, £559.00 for the 64GB model. Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available for £499.00, £579.00 and £659.00.
Australian pricing: iPad 2 WiFi: 16GB – $579; 32GB – $689; 64GB – $799; iPad 2 WiFi + 3G: 16GB – $729; 32GB – $839; 64GB – $949.
Overall, it seems like the iPad 2 is cheaper than the iPad 1 across Europe and Australia, a clever move considering Apple priced the iPad 2 just as the iPad 1 in the United States. Press release below.