Apple Store app updated with support for Touch ID, two-step verification

By Cody Lee on May 21, 2015

Apple posted an update on Thursday for its Apple Store app, bringing the app to version 3.3. The update brings about at least two significant improvements: support for Touch ID and Apple ID two-step verification.

Folks checking their Apple Watch orders frequently using the app will be happy to hear that you no longer have to input your password. You can now use Touch ID to access orders, Easy Pay receipts and reservations. Read More

 

Apple Stores expected to begin carrying Apple Watch bands this week

By Cody Lee on May 20, 2015

You may soon be able to pickup new Apple Watch bands in-store, according to 9to5Mac. Citing an internal memo sent out to employees, the outlet reports that Apple Stores will soon start carrying limited quantities of bands for the just-released wearable.

Before you get too excited, the message indicates that a majority of the stock will be made up of Sport bands. Also, it sounds like much of the inventory is reserved for customers looking to swap their pre-bundled bands, and replacing worn out demo bands. Read More

 

Apple offering online Personal Setup for new Apple Watch users

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2015

Apple on Thursday night began emailing Apple Watch pre-order customers (whose orders have already shipped), informing them that their wearable would be arriving soon and that they can get help setting it up in “the comfort of their own home.”

The online “Personal Setup” service is essentially a video session in which you get instructions on setting up your Watch and an overview of key features. As with in-store Personal Setups, online sessions require you to schedule an appointment. Read More

 

Angela Ahrendts addresses retail employees about Apple Watch launch

By Cody Lee on Apr 21, 2015

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts sent out a video to Apple retail employees today, addressing concerns and questions regarding the Apple Watch and MacBook launches. In the video, posted by French site Mac4Ever, Ahrendts reiterates much of what was said in an internal memo that was sent out to employees last week. Read More

 

Select Apple Stores now offering Watch workshops

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2015

In a bid to get new Watch customers up to speed and help them learn how to use their Apple wearable device, select brick-and-mortar stores are now offering a brand new workshop called ‘Apple Watch Basics,’ MacRumors discovered earlier today.

The program can be booked now and is showing up as a Concierge option on Apple’s website, with first in-store workshops slated to begin on April 24. According to Apple’s website, select stores both in the United States and in other countries are offering workshops as of today, including locations like Xidan Joy City in China. Read More

 

Tim Cook: Apple Watch pre-orders have been ‘great’

By Cody Lee on Apr 10, 2015

Tim Cook took time out of his day on Friday to visit his local Palo Alto Apple Store, to greet folks trying on the Apple Watch. The CEO shook hands, posed for photos, and fielded questions regarding Apple’s highly anticipated wearable.

CNBC was on hand for the meet-and-greet and managed to speak with Cook for a moment about the Watch, and what he’s seen in terms of initial response. Unsurprisingly, he says the company has been “impressed” with consumer enthusiasm. Read More

 

Apple’s slick process for dealing with Watch purchases and walk-ins detailed

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2015

Contradicting a recent 9to5Mac report which said only try-on appointments will be possible come April 10, sources told The Mac Observer that the appointment-only process will reportedly accommodate walk-in purchases, using a system similar to one recently instituted at Genius Bars in Apple’s real stores worldwide.

The Genius Bar will handle walk-ins by taking your phone number, allowing customers to run their errands and go about their business until they receive timely updates from the Genius Bar related to waiting times via SMS. Apple’s already using this system to handle purchases and is reportedly intending to tap it for the Watch as well. Read More

 

Apple expands iPhone trade-in program to select Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2015

As promised, Apple on Monday started rolling out a new trade-in initiative aimed at Android phone owners who would like to upgrade to an iPhone. Part of Apple’s existing Reuse and Recycling Program, the non-iPhone trade-in is now rolling out in the United States and several European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.

Eligible non-iPhone devices include smartphones running Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone operating systems. Read More

 

Apple to launch new trade-in program for Android switchers

By Cody Lee on Mar 16, 2015

Apple will soon introduce a new trade-in program that will accept Androids and other non-Apple smartphones, reports 9to5Mac. Citing sources familiar with the upcoming rollout, the outlet says the program will be very similar to Apple’s existing iPhone trade-in program, which provides customers with gift cards to be used towards the purchase of a new iPhone.

Trade-in values of smartphones will be determined by Apple Store representatives, based on the age of the device as well as its cosmetic and functioning condition. The reps are said to be beginning extensive training sessions later this week, which will better prepare them to appraise these new devices when the program launches sometime in “the coming weeks.” Read More

 

You’ll be able to try on Apple Watch in Apple Stores without appointment

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 16, 2015

You’ll be able to spend hands-on time with an Apple Watch at Apple’s retail stores without making a purchase. Although some sources previously mentioned trying on Watches by appointment, 9to5Mac has learned that try on appointments won’t be necessary after all.

Apple will start taking pre-orders for the Watch on April 10, ahead of its April 24 launch. April 10 is also when the Watch will arrive for “preview” in retail stores. Apple Retail will begin training employees on selling the device at the end of March. Read More

 

Apple tweaking Reserve and Pickup options for Watch’s April 24 launch

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2015

Apple’s retail stores will be rolling out tweaked Reserve and Pickup options ahead of the Watch’s April 24 launch, according to unnamed sources who spoke with 9to5Mac. The experience will reportedly differ from the existing system for other products in that Personal Pickup for the wearable device will permit prospective buyers to reserve a desired case and band combination online before trying the specific Watch in-store and completing the purchase. Read More

 

Apple’s retail sales strategy for Apple Watch revealed

By Cody Lee on Mar 3, 2015

Ahead of next week’s Apple Watch event, Apple has begun training its retail employees on how to position the new device to customers. In a new report this afternoon, 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman shares 3 key points from their training including key features, iPhone compatibility and style.

According to selling guidelines provided to Gurman, Apple wants its employees to find out 3 things about their customers when trying to sell the Apple Watch: what do they already know about the device, is their iPhone compatible, and are they looking for a casual or formal watch. Read More

 

Apple’s ‘Start Something New’ campaign extends to Apple Store walls

By Jake Smith on Jan 3, 2015

Apple has extended its “Start Something New” campaign, to highlight art and photography created on the iPhone and iPad, past the web and into its retail stores.

Twitter user Storeteller noted on Friday that the Regent Street Apple Store in London began displaying the art Apple began showing on the “Start Something New” webpage earlier this week. Read More

 

Apple Stores to host free ‘Hour of Code’ workshops next Thursday

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2014

In addition to hosting Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump at the SoHo New York Apple Store as part of its Apps for (RED) promotion to benefit the fight against AIDS in Africa, Apple will be hosting another event at its stores, one tailored for students who are interested in coding.

Supporting the Computer Science Education Week which runs December 8-14, Apple’s free Hour of Code 2014 seminar will be taking place at its brick-and-mortar locations next Thursday, December 11. Read More

 

Apple Stores turn their logos red in recognition of World AIDS Day

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2014

Today is World AIDS Day and Apple’s brick and mortar and online stores around the world have tinted their logos red in recognition of the event. In addition, Apple’s online stores are promoting (RED) products, including Apple-brand (RED) accessories such as the $200 Beats headphones, the $49 iPod shuffle and more.

Apple has previously said that 100 percent of proceeds from In-App Purchased and downloads of participating iPhone and iPad apps like Angry Birds and Monument Valley will go to the Global Fund through December 7. Read More

 

Shipping times improve for select iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models

By Cody Lee on Nov 21, 2014

With the all-important Black Friday shopping weekend just around the corner, Apple continues to improve supply of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Shipping estimates for select models of the handsets have recently ameliorated for Apple’s US online store and in other countries.

Both 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6 models, as well as the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus, are now showing ship dates 7 to 10 days out for all colors across all major US carriers. And the 16GB iPhone 6 is now shipping in 5 to 7 days, with Personal Pickup available at a number of Apple Stores. Read More

 

Apple Stores to start servicing Beats hardware on November 18

By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2014

According to a leaked internal notice, Apple Store Genius Bars are going to begin providing after-purchase support of Beats hardware next week. The screenshot was posted by technology website TechnoBuffalo, which said that it was sent in by an anonymous source.

Given the minimal context, it’s impossible to tell if the document is legitimate or not, but it does corroborate a report from October along the same lines. Coincidentally, that report also featured a screenshot of an internal memo sent out to Apple service providers. Read More

 

AT&T offering $50 bill credit for iPhone upgrades purchased through Apple

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2014

AT&T is right now offering a $50 bill credit to Next customers who purchase a new iPhone from Apple’s online and retail stores within the next two months. Neither company is actively marketing the promotion, but, as spotted by MacRumors, it does appear in the fine print of AT&T’s Next plan.

All late model iPhones qualify for the deal, including the 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, but there are stringent requirements. The iPhone must be purchased on an existing line as an upgrade, it must be financed using AT&T’s Next plan, and it must remain active and in good standing on Next for 45 days. Read More

 

Barclaycard Apple Rewards Visa delivers new financing options, better security and 3X points

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2014

Born out of the Apple-Barclaycard partnership, the new Barclaycard Apple Rewards Visa card is now available with EMV Chip and PIN security, revised financing options, updated rewards with three times points on Apple Store purchase and more.

As first discovered by AppleInsider on Monday, the card earns you three reward points for every dollar spent at the Apple Store (iTunes purchases don’t qualify).

Once you earn 2,500 points, Apple will give you a $25 Apple Store Gift Card (previously, you’d get a $25 iTunes Gift Card with the Barclaycard iTunes Rewards Visa Card).

Moreover, there’s no interest on purchases made at Apple within the first 30 days of account opening, plus some other perks as well. Read More

 

Apple removes Fitbit products from online store

By Cody Lee on Nov 7, 2014

Apple has followed through with plans to stop selling Fitbit devices. As noted by MacRumors, the company has pulled all Fitbit products from its online store and has begun removing them from the shelves of its retail stores as well.

Previously, Apple carried the Fitbit Flex fitness band and the classic Fitbit one, both of which connected to iOS devices. The reason behind the removals is unknown, but there does appear to be tension brewing between the two firms. Read More

 
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