Apple Pay has gained several new bank and retail partners in recent weeks

By Cody Lee on Dec 16, 2014

Apple on Tuesday told The New York Times that it has signed up “dozens more banks, retail stores and start-ups to adopt Apple Pay” in recent weeks. The mobile payment service launched in October with a handful of official partners, and has been adding new ones on a near-weekly basis.

This latest round of additions includes Associated Bank, BB&T, Commerce Bank, TD Bank North America, UW Credit Union and 5 other institutions. Apple says that with the new partners, Apple Pay now supports the cards that represent ~90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US. Read More

 

US/UK Online Apple Store now accepting PayPal

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 12, 2014

For the first time since its inception, the Online Apple Store is now accepting PayPal as a payment method in both the United States and United Kingdom, Re/code said Friday.

The change is newsworthy in light of PayPal’s reluctance to join Apple’s mobile payment solution, Apple Pay, and refusal to update its app with Touch ID authentication. Read More

 

Bose products return to Online Apple Store in time for holiday shopping

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

As hinted earlier this week, Bose products have in fact returned to the Online Apple Store following their removal last month. According to some watchers, the iPhone maker pulled Beats products following an alleged patent infringement on Beats’ part.

Some but not all Bose audio products can now be purchased through Apple’s webstore ahead of the Christmas shopping frenzy, such as the $196 SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker, the $300 SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III and the $300 QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. Read More

 

Apple planning big retail push in India with 500 new reseller stores

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2014

Apple doesn’t operate its own retail stores in India, home to 1.3 billion people, and instead relies on a network of resellers.

And apparently the company has decided to go big in India with a network of 500 new reseller stores, The Times of India newspaper reported Friday.

The move is part of a plan to expand Apple’s presence in smaller towns and cities. The upcoming stores are said to be iOS-centric, focusing on Apple’s tremendously popular mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones. 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

 

Grocery chains Winn-Dixie and BI-LO now accepting Apple Pay

By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2014

Winn-Dixie and BI-LO, two major grocery store chains in the southeastern region of the US, are now accepting Apple Pay. MacRumors reports that it was told the companies would begin processing AP payments next week, but the system seems to have already gone live in many stores.

This is a significant coup for Apple, who has been seeing pushback from high profile retailers in recent weeks regarding Apple Pay. Winn-Dixie and BI-LO have over 1,300 locations between them, which are spread throughout North and South Carolina, Georgia and surrounding states. 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 retail chief tells employees Apple Watch launching in ‘spring’

By Cody Lee on Nov 2, 2014

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts has told staffers that the highly anticipated Apple Watch will be launching in the spring, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. The site says the company’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores recently sent out a video message to employees, where she noted the new timeframe.

More specifically, Ahrendts tells her employees that they are “sprinting a marathon,” hinting at the busy times the retail channel has ahead of them. From a transcript of her comments, she says “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.” Read More

 

New iPads now available for in-store pickup at some Apple Stores

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2014

Apple’s latest iPads, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, are now available for in-store pickup at a growing list of retail locations in the United States, MacRumors reported Wednesday. Initially limited to Wi-Fi-only iPads and available for a limited number of retail locations that have received shipments, every Apple Store in the United States and abroad will provide personal pickup as soon as Apple catches up to demand for the new tablets.

If you are planning on purchasing one of the new iPads for in-store pickup, head over to Apple’s US Online Store, choose your iPad model and check the bottom of the page: if personal pickup is available, you’ll see the “Available for pickup” message. You can also click the “Check availability” link and enter your ZIP code to get a list of nearby stores that will let you pick up your iPad in person.
Read More

 

Apple starts accepting pre-orders for new iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 17, 2014

Apple’s Online Store went down for more than three hours earlier this morning as the Cupertino firm was gearing up to start accepting pre-orders for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

Lo and behold, Apple has now begun accepting pre-orders for the new tablets from customers in 29 countries and territories.

Additional global availability is due in the coming months. Interestingly enough, U.S. carrier AT&T started accepting pre-orders for the new tablets ahead of Apple. If you’re interested, head over to the Online Apple Store and make your reservation for one of the new iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 models.

Apple promised to start shipping these “later next week”. Read More

 

Apple to add after-sales service for Beats headphones and speakers

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2014

Apple mays start providing after-sales service for Beats headphones and speakers soon, according to a report from Greek technology blog TechInGreek.com [Google Translate] which dug up an internal document showing that Apple Service Providers in the country are gearing up to provide service for Beats Electronics gear.

If authorized Service Providers are going to be adding Beats after-sales service, Apple should follow suit.

Indeed, “in the near future, Apple will be responsible for providing service to customers with Beats Electronics products and accessories,” reads the memo Apple sent out to its Service Providers. Read More

 

Apple said to remove Bose products from store shelves next week

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2014

Apple is reportedly on the verge of removing audio products and accessories by the audio equipment specialist Bose from both its store shelves in addition to the demo units as early as next week, MacRumors learned Friday from a source privy to the matter.

Although the report comes short on specifics, the decision may have something to do with Bose’s patent infringement lawsuit against Beats. As you know, Apple purchased Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion earlier this year.

The development seemingly coincides with a new agreement Bose signed with the National Football League banning its players from wearing Beats headphones while on television. Read More

 

Former Apple retail boss Ron Johnson starting high-end delivery service for gadgets

By Jake Smith on Sep 23, 2014

Ron Johnson, former Apple retail boss who left in 2011, is working to start a high-end, on-demand delivery service for gadgets and is hiring some former Apple employees to help, The Information reports. The move to found a new company follows Johnson’s failed stint at JC Penney as CEO, when he was fired after not turning around the struggling retail giant. Read More

 

Apple and Disney upgrading in-store iBeacon/NFC ahead of iPhone 6 launch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 7, 2014

Here’s another piece of evidence to help complete the Apple mobile payments puzzle: according to a new report by 9to5Mac, Apple and Disney stores in the United States have been upgrading in-store iBeacon transmitters and NFC sensors ahead of the company’s big reveal on Tuesday.

The upgraded sensors, which include the new Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons, will allow the companies to track customers inside their stores with an even greater degree of precision.

As it’s been widely reported, both the iPhone 6 and iWatch are rumored to be outfitted with a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip to support mobile payments. It’s “one of the hallmark features” of the iPhone 6, according to Wired. The Apple wearable device has “a role in mobile payments,” too, as per The Wall Street Journal. Read More

 

Apple reportedly discussing mobile payment service with Nordstrom

By Cody Lee on Sep 2, 2014

Financial blog Bank Innovation is reporting this afternoon that Apple is in talks with upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom to be one of the early merchant partners for its new mobile system, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.

It may even already be a done deal. Citing anonymous Nordstrom employees, the outlet says that the department store chain updated its POS (point of sale) terminals a few weeks ago in order to be compatible with the “most recent” iPhone models. Read More

 

Apple rolling out on-site iPhone 5s screen replacements to U.S. retail stores

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 5, 2014

Well, it had to happen someday. Call it a stroke of bad luck or inattention on my part, but it only took a fraction of a second for my shiny new iPhone 5s to slip out of my hand and fall on the concrete face down, just a few short weeks after purchasing the device! For the record, I am the type of person who handles my devices with utmost care so you could imagine my sorrow and feel my heartache.

Now I’m left with a pricey device that has a damaged screen with nasty cracks appearing all the way down to the steel Touch ID ring. A quote my nearest Apple Store gave me for an out of warranty screen replacement was just unbearable. And, it would take them at least a week to, or even more, to service the device, which was unacceptable to me.

Worse, iFixit at the time didn’t yet sell an iPhone 5s screen replacement kit. In addition, history has taught me all to well to avoid inexpensive screens sold on eBay. More often than not, these third-party components don’t hold a candle to Apple’s Retina screen in terms of color accuracy, overall image quality and touch sensing.

Luckily for our U.S. readers, after introducing in-store iPhone 5c screen repairs back in January, Apple Stores in the United States can now replace your damaged iPhone 5s screen in a matter of an hour… Read More

 

Apple’s second secret eBay store goes live with pre-owned iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014

Back in November 2012, a secret mini-store popped up on eBay with officially certified, little-used Apple products, similar to those found on the company’s own refurbished section at the Online Apple Store.

However, since selling through the initial allotment of good-as-new gear the Apple Certified Refurbished Products section on eBay has seen little activity in terms of deals on iPhones, iPad, MacBooks and other products.

Today, Apple reportedly launched a brand new secret store – again on eBay, but this time around offering certified and unlocked GSM iPhone 5 units, with prices starting at $449 with free shipping… Read More

 

Apple’s former Retail chief Ron Johnson was not a good student at Stanford

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014

Apple’s original Senior Vice President of Retail quit his job at Apple last year for a CEO position with J.C.Penney, only to be fired rather infamously after revenues dropped sharply following his attempts to apply sprinkles of Apple magic and overhaul the retailer’s shopping experience.

Johnson recently participated in View From the Top Talk at Stanford Graduate School of Business and shared a few anecdotes from his time at Apple while revealing that he “was not a good student” at Stanford.

I’ve embedded the video right after the break… Read More

 

Apple livens up retail stores with backlit wall graphics from TV ads

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2014

Ace Metrix’s ad-watching data compiled by Bloomberg has revealed that Apple’s in-house advertisements are scoring lower than those created by its long-time ad agency, TBWA\Media Arts Labs. This includes Apple’s TBWA-produced iPhone 5s television campaigns such as ‘Gigantic’ and ‘From the Heart’.

Small wonder, then, that Apple has decided to use various motifs from these successful commercials inside its retail stores, starting with the installation of the brand new backlit wall graphics at select locations… Read More

 

Angela Ahrendts shares advice on starting anew at Apple

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 23, 2014

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has had quite the experience since joining the iPhone maker’s leadership team last month. Ahrendts has posted a letter on LinkedIn that details her transition to her new role at Apple, following an eight-year tenure as CEO of the luxury fashion brand Burberry. In her memo, she discusses a few insights that allowed her to adapt to the Silicon Valley culture…  Read More

 
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