GameStop ramping up expansion of wireless, Simply Mac stores

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2014

Popular video game retailer GameStop is making some significant moves to diversify its business. During an investor presentation yesterday titled “Beyond the Game,” the company’s Chief Financial Officer Rob Lloyd said it plans to invest up to $140 million this year building new Spring Mobile and Simply Mac locations.

GameStop acquired both small chains last year in an effort to broaden its business outside of the seemingly-dying used video game racket . Spring Mobile is a third-party retailer for AT&T products and Simply Mac is an authorized Apple product dealer that sets up in areas that are too small for an actual Apple Store… Read More


Apple expands in-store trade-ins to include iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 22, 2014

Apple’s in-store Reuse & Recycling program in the United States and Canada is now available to iPad owners, too, according to a new report Tuesday.

If you have a used iPad lying around that needs getting rid of, take it to a nearby Apple Store and the company will give you a store credit, depending on its model, condition, age, physical appearance and other factors.

Apple uses a list of 22 criteria to evaluate if your device is eligible for trade. Devices that won’t power on, have smashed screens, are jailbroken or use non-Apple parts won’t be considered for a credit… Read More


Retina iPad mini refurbs now available

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2014

Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display is great until the reality hits you in your face with a lofty price tag of four hundred bucks for the entry-level model with just sixteen gigabytes of storage and no cellular connectivity. From time to time, Apple makes good-as-new gear such as iPads and MacBooks available for purchase at reduced prices via the refurbished section of its Online Apple Store.

And now, for the first time the company’s iPad mini with Retina display is available refurbished, too, starting at $419 for for the Wi-Fi model with 32 gigabytes of storage. That’s sixteen percent off for a cool $80 savings over the list price. The 64GB Wi-Fi refurb costs $509, or $90 less versus standard pricing for brand new models… Read More


Apple Stores and corporate campus to celebrate 2014 Earth Day

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2014

Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores in the United States and around the world will celebrate the upcoming Earth Day next Tuesday, April 22. According to a new report Thursday, Apple’s Cupertino, California campus will also join the celebration with a major internal event on April 22 focused on 2014 Earth Day.

This year’s Earth Day, prefixed with Green Cities, is focused on environment-friendly buildings, transportation and cities. Apple Stores will change their logo color to green to mark the occasion. More info right after the break… Read More


Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail can leave Burberry this month, but may stay until June for bonus

By Jake Smith on Apr 16, 2014

Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail, may not be in her new position as quickly as once thought.

The Guardian first noted that Ahrendts can leave her gig as the CEO of Burberry during April, but may stay for a bit longer to collect an £8 million share bonus that will be awarded from the fashion giant in June. Read More


Texas Instruments pledges support for iBeacon tech in several Bluetooth products

By Cody Lee on Apr 16, 2014

It’s been almost a year now since Apple unveiled its iBeacon geolocation technology, and I really don’t think it could have hoped for better results. The tech has been implemented in a number of settings including retail and grocery stores, MLB ballparks, and more, and it seems to get more popular every day.

As evidence of that, Texas Instruments pledged its faith in iBeacon today, announcing support for the tech across its Bluetooth low energy portfolio including chips for embedded and automotive applications. The company also launched a new iBeacon-location app that works with its SensorTag development kit… Read More


Apple’s iPhone trade-in program extends to Germany

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2014

Apple’s own iPhone trade-in program is now available across company-owned online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets in Germany. Now available via the Online Apple Store and through Apple’s free Apple Store application for the iPhone and iPad, the initiative allows German shoppers to trade-in their existing device in good condition and receive a gift card worth up to €230, or about 315 in US dollars.

Like in the United States, German customers can then redeem the amount on the gift card against a new iPhone purchase to help bring down the upfront cost of the hardware. Your existing devices get disposed of in an environmentally friendly way instead of ending up in landfills… Read More


Must-see: Apple’s breathtaking Istanbul store

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2014

With grand opening of Apple’s first retail store in Turkey confirmed for this coming Saturday, Apple dispatched Steve Cano, its Vice President of Retail Operations, to Istanbul to show off the structure’s incredible architecture and design to the press.

Although CEO Tim Cook and Turkish President Abdullah Gül were not in attendance, the significance of this particular store, Apple’s 424th, can’t be overstated. If you’ve been following Apple’s retail efforts, you’re familiar with the look and feel of the company’s flagship retail locations, often likened to the shrines attracting devotees who worship Apple’s sexy products there.

But starting with the recently redesigned Stanford 2 store in North California, Apple has seemingly adopted a fresh new design language for its brick-and-mortar locations, now focused on the 100 percent seamless glass appearance with lots of open space so visitors feel like they’re part of the surrounding landscape.

The new Turkish store is a continuation of this trend and you really need to see the photographs to truly appreciate what Apple has accomplished here… Read More


Apple to open small stores in India with a focus on low-end iOS devices

By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2014

Citing sources familiar with the company’s retail plans, The Economic Times is reporting today that Apple is working with local distributors in India to set up small shops in larger cities to push some older-model iPhones and iPads, as well as some lower-end Macs.

The initiative is part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to make inroads into the country, where its iPhone only accounts for about 2% of the smartphone market. These new shops, according to the report, will focus on cheaper devices like the iPhone 4 and 4s, and the iPad 2…

Read More


Tim Cook, Turkish president to attend opening of Apple’s Istanbul store on April 4

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2014

Earlier this year, Tim Cook traveled to Turkey to meet with the country’s president, to reportedly discuss the opening of a retail store in Istanbul, research and development and other matters. The store opening is of particular significance, as it would be Apple’s first in the region.

Well it looks like the talks were successful. According to Turkish Apple blog ElmaDergisi, Apple is set to open a retail store in Istanbul’s Zorlu Center on April 4. And as proof of the gravity of the event, both Cook and Turkish president Abdullah Gül are expected to be in attendance… Read More


Apple Stores reportedly treating Apple TV buyers to $25 iTunes Gift Cards

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2014

Fueling rumors of a potential Apple TV hardware refresh next month, Apple has apparently instructed its retail employees to start treating Apple TV buyers to $25 iTunes Gift Cards, basically bringing the price of the $99 media-streaming box down to $74.

Of course, you’re still paying the full price for the Apple TV hardware, Apple is just throwing in a $25 iTunes Gift Card with every new purchase. The credit can be redeemed against any content purchase in the company’s many online stores.

So in a nutshell, you’re getting a $25 iTunes credit for apps, books, movies, music and more, free of charge. The offer is valid through March 5, 2014… Read More


Apple’s first Latin America retail outlet opens in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2014

Brazil is the most expensive place to buy an iPhone 5s: the entry-level 16GB model is selling for 2,799 Brazilian reals, or about $1,175, compared to $649 in the United States. But that didn’t stop large crowds from gathering for the opening of the company’s first retail outlet in the region.

The new store, located in the popular Village Mall in Barra de Tijuaca, Rio de Janeiro’s popular suburb, has attracted about 1,700 people Sunday, according to media reports. Apple’s official presence in the region conveniently comes in advance of the FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics… Read More


Verizon brings same-day delivery service to ten more U.S. cities

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2014

Verizon Wireless, the nation’s top wireless carrier by subscribers and revenue, announced Wednesday its same-day delivery service is now available in an additional ten cities in the United States. The expansion comes on top of the five launch markets.

In July 2013, Verizon became the first wireless carrier to offer this service with a pilot program in Philadelphia, which was then expanded in October to include New York City, Dallas, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The Big Red carrier charges $19.99 to get your mobile device delivered the same day, with delivery guaranteed by 7pm local time… Read More


Target launches time-limited deals on iOS devices

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 7, 2014

Target, the nation’s second-largest discount retailer, is launching some pretty interesting deals on Apple’s iOS devices. Starting this coming Sunday, February 9, and through next week’s Saturday, February 15, customers in the market for an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air and any iPad mini can get discounts in the form of gift cards.

The time-limited promotion will see some of these devices discounted by as much as $50 versus Apple’s asking prices. Jump past the fold for the full per-product breakdown… Read More


‘Unique’ Istanbul Apple Store opening in April, Siri, R&D and more from Cook’s Turkey tour

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2014

Yesterday, Turkish government officially confirmed that Apple CEO Tim Cook was meeting President Abdullah Gül at the Çankaya Presidential Compound in Ankara to discuss a potential $4.5 billion iPad deal and other major initiatives and incentives in the 74 million people country.

The official website of the Turkish government on Tuesday published details of the meeting. The two leaders have covered a wide range of topics, including the possibility of an Apple research and development center in Turkey and how iPads could help improve education in the country.

President Gül wanted to know whether Apple could add Turkish support to Siri and Cook was interested in a possibility of Turkey dropping its special luxury taxes that are being applied to iPhone and iPad sales in the country… Read More


Tim Cook visits with Prime Minister, retailers in United Arab Emirates

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2014

Following his trip to Ireland last week, Tim Cook was spotted at several electronics outlets in the United Arab Emirates this weekend. The CEO posed for pictures while visiting malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The reason for his visit is unknown, but a UAE-based newspaper is reporting that Cook also met with UAE Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other officials while in the region… Read More


You can now get $50 off any mobile phone at Best Buy any time during 2014

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 31, 2014

The United States electronics retailer Best Buy on Thursday announced an interesting new promotion giving anyone who signs up for a $50 gift card the ability to redeem the credit when purchasing and activating any mobile phone at Best Buy, any time during 2014.

The promo theoretically means you could get $50 off your future iPhone 6 purchase.

Not sure if this was Best Buy’s intent, but the terms suggest a price discount should be available for any unannounced handset. Anyone can apply for the $50 discount provided they register their interest and purchase/activate a new mobile phone with the registered phone number and a two-year agreement on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless at any Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile store before December 31, 2014… Read More


Shopkick expands iBeacon testing to 100 American Eagle locations

By Cody Lee on Jan 16, 2014

Shopkick announced today that it is expanding its iBeacon trial to a number of American Eagle retail stores. The shopping app has been testing Apple’s new geolocation tech in a handful of Macy’s outlets since December of last year.

Once the pilot goes live next month, Shopkick’s iBeacon tech will be available in 100 AE locations, making it the largest trial of the technology in the country. And it’ll essentially turn your iPhone into a personal shopping assistant… Read More


Apple opens official store on major Chinese e-commerce site Tmall

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2014

According to a new report this morning, Apple has opened an official store on popular Chinese e-commerce site Tmall. The move serves as the company’s latest play in an ongoing effort to boost its device sales and overall presence in the country.

For those unfamiliar with Tmall, it’s a major online marketplace run by the Alibaba Group. It’s sort of like an online mall, with high profile brands like Nike and Levi’s paying the required deposit to create a digital forefront and peddle their wares… Read More


iBeacons arrive to 200 grocery stores, including Safeway and Giant Eagle

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 6, 2014

By all accounts, 2014 should be the year of iBeacons, a Bluetooth 4.0 powered indoor micro-location technology that Apple created and the industry readily embraced. I mean, the CES itself is running a promotional scavenger hunt utilizing iBeacons, how’s that for an endorsement?

And chip maker and Apple supplier Qualcomm is rolling out its own inexpensive iBeacons platform called Gimbal, another vote of confidence to the cross-platform nature of Apple’s technology.

And now, inMarket announced the roll-out of iBeacons to about two hundred grocery store locations, including Safeway and Giant Eagle locations in Seattle, San Francisco and Cleveland. What sets apart inMarket’s implementation of iBeacons to others is the multi-retailer approach.

Although the system would only work with inMarket’s own apps, the company plans to roll it out to brand partners and independent developers in the future, ensuring the consistent user experience across multiple retailers and coupon/reward apps… Read More

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