GLOBAL TECH WRAP: Apple launches cheaper version of iPhone 5c in five markets

iPhone 5c

 Apple today unveiled an 8GB iPhone 5c that costs between 8% and 9% less than the previous lowest-priced model with 16GB of storage space, Computerworld reports.

"This is a very clever way for Apple to lower prices without discounting," said Ben Thompson, an independent analyst who covers technology on his Stratechery website.

The 8GB iPhone 5c on Apple's e-stores in just five markets: Australia, China, France, Germany and the UK.

There is no word on possible release dates for other territories

In Australia, the 8GB iPhone 5c is listed at A$679, an 8.1% price cut over the 16GB model.

US tech giants knew of NSA data collection, agency's top lawyer insists, reports The Guardian.

Apple has opened exploratory talks with senior label executives about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music, according to three people familiar with the talks, the US music magazine reports.
Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said. The surprising discussions are part of a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the double-digit decline in US download sales at Apple’s iTunes Music Store, the largest music retailer.

Google is launching Android Wear for wearable devices, the company announces in an official blog post. The first device based on the new operating system (OS) software will be the Android Wear-based Moto 360, which will ship later this year (Google is in the process of selling its Motorola division to China's Lenovo).

Google previews how Android Wear could be used in this clip, which includes the immortal "I just got a jellyfish warning" line, now doing the rounds as an internet meme:

Google's Android Wear move comes on the heels of Samsung shifting from Android to Tizen for its Neo smartwatch (Tizen is a new-ish operating software system for smartwatches, smartphones and tablets backed by Samsung, Intel, Huawei and others. Like Android, it's based on Linux).

At Time, Harry McCracken has 10 Things I Know to Be True About This Microsoft Hotmail Privacy Case, which saw the software company tap the email of a user believed to be involved in the theft of Windows 8 code.

In a company  blog, Microsoft has promises to strengthen its investigation policy.

Engadget takes a hands-on, look at Using the PlayStation 4's virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus.

It's deemed "pretty great":

Forbes says a Massive Solar Superstorm Narrowly Missed Blasting The Earth Back Into The Dark Ages on July 23, 2012.

Revealed: Apple and Google’s wage-fixing cartel involved dozens more companies, over one million employees, reports pandodaily.

It's not 100% clear why they want to punish us so, but Ars Technica staff have picked Our least-favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes.

Mt. Gox Finds 200,000 Missing Bitcoins, reports The Wall Street Journal as more shenanigans emerge at the imploded Bitcoin exchange with a $43 million Kiwi connection.

Money laundering, theft, unexplained losses - Bitcoin is becoming more like a real currency by the day.

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