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Apple Pay expanding to additional banks in France, Italy, Spain, and Canada

Apple Pay is expanding to several new banks in Europe, MacRumors reports, with Apple having updated its regional web sites listing several new banks in France, Italy, and Spain as either now or soon to be supporting the mobile payment service. Apple Pay is available now in Italy at Banca Mediolanum for Mediolanum Card debit cards, and in Spain by prepaid mobile wallet provider Boon. Apple has also tacitly announced that Apple Pay will be coming later this year to Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne, Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest, Crédit Mutuel Massif Central, and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s online banking subsidiary Fortuneo in France as well as mobile-only bank N26 in Spain.

Meanwhile in Canada, iPhone in Canada reports that Apple Pay has launched today for MBNA MasterCard users, following several months of from the credit card provider. MBNA Canada is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank, which introduced Apple Pay support for its own credit and debit cards in June 2016.

Apple expected to go ‘all-in’ on OLED screens for iPhones in 2018

Recent reports suggest that Apple may be launching a full lineup of OLED iPhone models as early as next year. A new report from Nikkei cites two industry sources, one of which suggests Apple is tentatively considering three new iPhone models for 2018, with the new design process already underway, although of course Apple’s plans are always subject to change. Further, sources among OLED suppliers suggest that they may not be able to keep up with demand if Apple expects to use OLED displays in all new iPhones in 2018. Analysts reiterated that Apple is still expected to release an OLED display in the “iPhone 8” premium model this year, but that two lower-end “iPhone 7s” models will continue to feature traditional LCD displays, and are expected to continue being sold into early 2019. [via MacRumors]

US government trying to intervene in Apple’s $14.8B EU tax case

The US government is trying to intervene on Apple’s behalf in the company’s $14.8 billion EU tax case, Reuters reports. In December, Apple appealed the European Commission’s ruling that it owed Ireland $14.8 billion in back taxes, and now an unnamed source “can confirm the United States filed an application with the European Union General Court to intervene in the case involving the retroactive application of state aid rules to Apple.” At the time of the ruling, the Obama administration claimed the EU was attempting to claim money that should be landing in US coffers instead, and since then the Trump administration has set its sights on creating a tax break that would allow companies to repatriate the estimated $26 trillion sitting in overseas banks. Europe’s second highest court, the General Court based in Luxembourg, is expected to hear the case late next year. Ireland is also backing Apple’s claims that the European Commission’s tax ruling oversteps its authority and is based on faulty math.

Beats 1 DJs reflect on 2 years anchoring Apple Music’s flagship station

As Beats 1 nears its second year as Apple Music’s flagship radio station, DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga reflected on their biggest moments so far in an Q&A session with High Snobiety. Lowe said he views Apple Music as a platform trying to take what it can from the old radio format and blend it with the “college, pirate, digital and blogs” model that’d driving much of new music discovery today. For Beats 1, that meant giving artists their own space to do things how they wanted. “We had to face up to the reality that the old expectations may not fit the artist anymore, Lowe said. “We have to trust the artists. Let them drive their own conversation. Trust that they know their audience.”

Reports claim iPhone 8 won’t support Touch ID, could replace it with 3D face scanning

Contradicting speculation that Apple had discovered a method to scan fingerprints that let them do away with a physical home button, well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 8 will feature a virtual home button that “won’t support fingerprint recognition,” Street Insider reports. Kuo claims “the full-screen design doesn’t work with existing capacitive fingerprint recognition, and the scan-through ability of the under-display fingerprint solution still has technical challenges,” leaving Apple to scrap fingerprint recognition on the device all together to avoid production delays. Kuo adds that the iPhone 8 will support facial recognition with new 3D sensors, a claim boosted by a Bloomberg report that the new face scanner “allows users to log in, authenticate payments, and launch secure apps by scanning their face.”

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