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Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

June 5, 2017 By Stephen Nellis SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Monday introduced the HomePod speaker to compete with Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa assistant and Echo devices for users who prefer voice-operated systems for shopping, planning and other tasks. The hardware debut, a rarity at the annual developers conference that traditionally features software and only minor hardware updates, came as analysts and investors watch for signs of the world’s largest publicly traded company’s next blockbuster product a decade after the introduction of the iPhone. Apple’s voice-controlled Siri assistant…

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Apple sends warning to banks with Australian mobile payments decision

March 31, 2017 By Jamie Freed SYDNEY (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Friday won a victory in its global fight to prevent banks from introducing their own mobile payment services on Apple devices, as an Australian regulator barred lenders from bargaining collectively for access. The decision by Australia’s competition watchdog, the first of its kind, will stop the banks from introducing their own mobile applications on iPhones and Apple Watches that could be used for contactless payments instead of the Apple Wallet. The banks had hoped to circumvent transaction fees…

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Australia to bar banks from bargaining collectively with Apple over payments

March 31, 2017 SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s competition regulator on Friday said it would bar a group of the country’s largest banks from bargaining collectively for access to Apple Inc’s contactless payment function, potentially setting a global precedent. The decision, the first of its kind, will stop the banks from introducing their own mobile applications on devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch that could be used for contactless payments instead of the Apple Wallet. That would have enabled banks to circumvent transaction fees and get customers to engage more…

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