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

 

Apple announces filmmaking and storytelling focused Summer 2014 Workshops for kids

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2014

Apple Retail is kicking off its annual free summer camps for kids eight to twelve years old. This time around, three-day workshops will center around filmmaking and interactive storytelling with apps like iMovie and iBooks Author on Macs and iPads.

Apple wants to educate youngsters on the basics of making movies and creating interactive books, complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. Each workshop, according to the firm, ends with the Apple Camp Showcase “so campers can share their finished projects”Read More

 

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts sends out first memo to retail staff

By Cody Lee on Jun 12, 2014

Angela Ahrendts began here tenure as Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online sales in early May. The former Burberry CEO has made a good first impression in her first month, garnering praise from folks inside and outside the company.

Today, Ahrendts sent out her first memo to Apple retail employees, which officially sets the tone for her incumbency. In the letter she thanks everyone for their hospitality, and pledges to continue to evolve the customer journey in stores and online… Read More

 

Apple posts video showing off new Japan retail store

By Cody Lee on Jun 12, 2014

Last night, Apple posted a video to its official YouTube channel showing off its newest retail store in Japan. The store is located in Omotesando, Tokyo, and it includes a brushed aluminum staircase and other unique architectural features.

Photos of the outside of the store surfaced in May, showing what appeared to be a power-saving green curtain of foliage draped down one wall. But this new video from Apple takes you on a brief virtual tour of the entire multi-floor building… Read More

 

Costco preparing to begin selling iPhones and iPads

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2014

According to a new report from MacRumors, Costco has reached a new agreement with Apple that will see it eventually carrying iPhones, iPads and other products. The warehouse club chain used to sell iPods, but quit offering them in late 2010 when it and Apple parted ways.

The news comes by way of an internal email sent to employees of Costco’s Wireless Advocates division, informing them of the new partnership. The memo only mentions iPhones and cellular iPads, but Wi-Fi only iPad Air and iPod models have popped up in stores’ inventories… Read More

 

US Apple Stores to begin offering prepaid and month-to-month iPhone plans

By Cody Lee on Jun 6, 2014

According to a new report from 9to5Mac, Apple is preparing to begin offering prepaid and month-to-month iPhone plans in its US retail stores. This will mark the first time in the US that customers will be able to go into an Apple Store, and walk out with a prepaid iPhone.

Customers will be able to purchase an iPhone at full retail, pick from a handful of prepaid or month-to-month plans offered by AT&T, T-Mobile and others, and have it activated in-store. The initiative is part of a larger effort by Apple to bolster non-subsidized iPhone sales… Read More

 

New Japan Apple Store features eco-friendly ‘green’ wall for climate control

By Cody Lee on May 30, 2014

Last week, Apple’s Lisa Jackson spoke at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference about the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. She noted that all of its data centers run on renewable energy, and it’s working toward a similar goal with its retail stores.

And today we get a glimpse of those efforts with photos of a new Apple Store in Tokyo, Japan. The store, which is expected to open next month, features an eco-friendly design with a curtain of thick vines on at least one wall that will help control the store’s climate… Read More

 

Apple reportedly in talks with retailers over mobile payment service

By Cody Lee on May 29, 2014

According to a new report from 9to5Mac, Apple executives are in discussions with directors from retail chains over a mobile payment service. Citing sources familiar with the project, the site says the talks have taken place over the past few months at ‘high profile’ retailers.

Apple has long been said to be interested in the mobile payments space, which has several players right now but no clear leader. It’s believed the Cupertino company could leverage its 800 million iTunes accounts and iPhone user base to come in and disrupt the market… Read More

 

Angela Ahrendts makes good first impression in first weeks at Apple

By Cody Lee on May 19, 2014

Apple’s former SVP of retail John Browett left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. After just six months in the position, it was pretty clear he wasn’t right for the job, and Tim Cook fired him. And not only that, but he spent over a year finding a proper replacement.

The good news is, that replacement was Angela Ahrendts, and by all accounts she’s nothing like Browett. In fact, according to a new report from 9to5Mac, she has already visited a number Apple Stores in the the San Francisco area, and the employees love her… Read More

 
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