By Ed Sutherland on May 1, 2013
Apple once again is rated best at providing technical support to consumers, according to Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine published monthly by Consumers Union since 1936. This year’s overall score of 86 out of 100 topped Apple’s 2012 rating, the publication announced.
Additionally, Apple’s retail Geek Bar solved nearly 90 percent of tech problems, higher than Best Buy’s lookalike Geek Squad bars. The iPhone maker produced the highest survey results, outstripping its nearest competitor, Lenovo, which scored 63. Apple’s success was due to a number of factors, according to the Consumer Reports survey… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2013
Apple may have been trying to divert our attention from its upcoming earnings call by timing two small software updates. First up, the iAd Producer application has been bumped up to version 4.0, with new features like iBooks Author Widgets, support for iTunes Extras and LPs and more. With iAd Producer 4.0 you can now create, say, a widget that allows users to “stream video from the Internet, draw using their finger, or interact with a timeline,” the company writes in help documents.
The company also updated its shopping iOS application with Push Notifications for order shipment and delivery (U.S. only), including alerts for when your iPhone is eligible for upgrade pricing, a neat feature ensuring you won’t forget about taking advantage of your carrier’s early upgrade policy… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2013
Apple’s online store has over time implemented a bunch of tweaks aimed at improving navigation and browsing product pages on Apple’s mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.
For instance, I’ve always liked the ability to swipe through teaser images on landing pages for specific products.
Here’s an example: fire up Safari on your iPhone or iPad, visit www.apple.com/iphone and swipe through those big, beautiful product shots at the top. But the company isn’t stopping there.
Having recently hired dozens of engineers, visual designers and web developers, Apple has now introduced a fresh set of tweaks to the online Apple Store, including the touch-friendly navigation bar which appears right below the main product sections (iPod, iPad etc.)… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2013
Apple’s been experimenting with installment payments in emerging markets for some time now. For example, installment payments coupled with increased marketing helped quadruple Apple’s single-digit iPhone market share in India. And in China, the online Apple Store offers 1, 3, 6 and 12 payment installment options with no interest, thanks to Apple’s partnership with China Merchants Bank.
That being said, in what appears to be another effort to improve its standing in the US market, Apple has reportedly partnered with Barclay’s to offer a no-interest option on T-Mobile iPhone 5 sales at Apple Stores… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 25, 2013
Since Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S4 handset earlier this month, Apple has been on an iPhone marketing blitz. In addition to its two new iPhone ads, it’s also posted a ‘Why iPhone’ page on its website and launched an email campaign.
And today, it continues the push with a new iPhone promotion for US customers. Effective immediately, the company is offering free next day shipping on all of its iPhone models ordered through its online webstore, regardless of price… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 25, 2013
Folks thinking about buying an iPad mini, but just can’t get over the tablet’s exorbitant $330+ price tag, will be happy to hear that you can now get one for less than $300 from Apple’s web store.
The company began offering a handful of refurbished iPad mini models, alongside fourth-gen iPads, earlier this month. And they’ve just added black and white 16GB Wi-Fi-only models to the mix… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 14, 2013
Good news today for folks looking to score a fourth gen iPad, or iPad mini, on the cheap. Apple has, for the first time, listed refurbished units of both of the tablets for sale on its website.
The discounts aren’t significant—up to 9% off of minis, and 10% off of 4th-generation iPads, depending on the configuration—but they’re good enough to knock $50 off of some models… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 12, 2013
Apple has updated its Apple Store app for the iPhone and iPod touch this afternoon. The update brings the app, which allows you to browse through and shop in the company’s massive web store, to version 2.5.
Unfortunately, there’s still no iPad version. But today’s release does include a few changes that will improve the app’s shopping experience, with new shipping and pickup options. Full change log after the fold… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 15, 2013
Once a highly valued partner, Google has spent the last few years moving in on Apple’s territory. It’s done it in the computer space, with its Chromebook OS, and in the smartphone space with Android. And now it looks like it’s preparing to do the same thing in retail.
A new report is out this afternoon claiming that the Mountain View company is in the process of building standalone retail stores in the United States, in an effort to get its products into more hands. And its flagship locations could be ready by the holidays…
By Cody Lee on Jan 30, 2013
Apple Stores provide an unmistakable, unique shopping environment. The company has spent years perfecting the look and feel of its retail shops, with their large glass windows, clutter-free product tables and walls of accessories.
And it looks like Apple will now be able to protect all of that hard work with a few newly acquired trademarks. This past week, the US Patent and Trademark office granted the company trademarks on its retail design and layout… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 23, 2013
How many times have you misplaced your keys in the last few years? Ok, how about your iPhone? Children? Well the good news is that there are actually iOS accessories that can help you with your forgetfulness, like the hipKey.
The hipKey is a simple proximity sensor, powered by Bluetooth, built to help you keep track of your valuables. It has a key ring, allowing you to attach it to your keys, purse, etc., and a companion iPhone app for easy tracking… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 23, 2013
Now that Christmas is just a tiny spec in our rear-view mirrors, it’s time to start looking ahead to the next gift-giving holiday: Valentine’s Day. And this morning, Apple started doing just that, highlighting the affair on its web store with a new “There’s more than one way to say I love you” iPad advertisement… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 15, 2013
A new report is out this afternoon claiming that Apple’s vice president of retail Jerry McDougal has left the company to spend more time with his family. It’s a significant blow, as he’s considered to be a big part of Apple’s retail success.
McDougal was Ron Johnson’s right hand man before he left the company to head up JC Penney in late 2011, and was even said to have been considered for his replacement before Apple decided on the infamous John Browett… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2013
Marco Tabini of Macworld takes an interesting look today at how Apple manages to keep the prices on its products, and subsequently its profits, so much higher than other manufacturers. It turns out, the company uses a unique, two-pronged pricing strategy.
The first part of it has to do with wholesale pricing. Apple, unlike most hardware-makers, doesn’t offer resellers much of a discount on products like the iPad or iMac, even if they’re buying in bulk. This doesn’t give retailers much incentive to carry the products, but with the kind of foot traffic they produce, it doesn’t really have to… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2013
Last week, Tim Cook made it clear that Apple intends to beef up its presence in China. The CEO said that although the country is only its second largest market right now (behind the US), it will soon be number one.
With that, comes a report today that Apple has introduced a new interest-free installment payment option to its web store in China as a way of enticing potential customers that may not have enough cash on-hand… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jan 3, 2013
No matter if you are in Syracuse, NY or Singapore, when you step into an Apple Store, you’re likely to be greeted in a singular manner. That’s no mistake. In fact, the ‘brain’ of Apple’s retailing success is part of a patent filing for a centralized floor plan management. It’s entitled “System and method for planning layout of a retail store” and details, well, everything.
Starting from how the tech giant uses the iPad and centrally-controlled in-store displays to offer customers a unified appearance, no matter which Apple Store around the globe you happen to waltz in. Indeed, if tech retailing were part of the Star Trek universe, Apple locations would be manned by the Borg – seeming to operate with one mind… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 2, 2013
While much of the world spent yesterday recovering from dehydration and hangovers, Apple was dealing with a different kind of headache. You know, the type of headache you get when someone steals over a million dollars in merchandise from you.
That’s right, in what sounds like a rejected Ocean’s 11 plot, the Apple Store in Paris’s Opera district was robbed at gunpoint on New Year’s Eve. And the masked thieves are believed to have made off with more than a million dollars in stolen products… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Dec 27, 2012
Apple, usually the benchmark for customer satisfaction, fell from its lofty perch during the all-important Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping period. After quickly jettisoning its senior vice-president of retail and suffering questions surrounding supplies of new products, the company “stumbled”, falling to a four-year low, according to a customer satisfaction analytics firm Thursday. The iPhone maker fell 3 points to 80 out of 100, dropping it from the overall top five online holiday retailers and behind #1 Amazon.com, which was rated 88 out of 100 by Forsee… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2012
Apple has thrown in another nice perk that should appeal to last minute shoppers: the company’s web store is now offering free next-day shipping on every item available in the store. Previously, only a select few products were eligible for free shipping, including the items listed on Apple’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Unfortunately, only US orders include free next-day shipping. Be that as it may, those that have not ordered their holiday gifts yet needn’t despair as with this promotion your last minute purchases should be received in time for the holidays… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 3, 2012
In another display of Apple catching up to iPhone demand, the company’s online store in New Zealand is now quoting 2-4 business days for deliveries. It was only a week ago that the New Zealand store indicated shipping times were improving to one week. Prior to that, it took Apple about a month following the iPhone 5 launch to improve delivery times for online orders from 2-3 weeks to one week. The online US store gave us a one-week shipping estimate at press time but we’re expecting international stores to follow suit and update estimates later in the day… Read More