Buyers must reserve online, will get customized bags with purchase
As reported earlier today, US Apple retail stores have now joined with Australian and UK stores to allow in-store pickup of reserved Apple Watch models. The US website now offers the option of reserving a pickup time alongside normal mail delivery when buyers choose an Apple Watch model from the site, giving customers the option of picking a specific time and nearby store if desired. In-store buyers also receive a custom bag with their purchase.
No foul play suspected; organic peroxide spill at FedEx facility ruined package
Four Apple retail workers at the Del Monte store in Monterey, California were hospitalized on Wednesday after a package intended for delivery to the store was contaminated at a FedEx depot with a high level of organic peroxide in what appears to be an accidental spill. The odor, rather than any direct contact, caused the workers to become ill, and forced the evacuation of the Apple Store and several nearby areas. A dozen people in total, mostly Apple workers, were nauseated by the chemical.
Company building facility devoted to Apple Watch inside Tokyo department store
In a previously-unannounced move, Apple is creating a store dedicated to just selling the Apple Watch (and accessories) as part of an existing upscale department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The "store-within-a-store," borrowing from previous Apple retail concepts, could be come a permanent display for the fashionable Apple Watch if sales merit it. The department store, Isetan, is placing the mini-shop near its main entrance.
'Let peace begin with me' offered as a resonant theme to current turmoil
A new post from Apple Retail Senior Vice President (SVP) Dame Angela Ahrendts on her LinkedIn blog offers a simple holiday message and song with a theme of peace, saying her message for the season was simply "let peace begin with me." Ahrendts said she was inspired by a recent re-hearing of a song she used to play on piano, a rendition of "Let There Be Peace on Earth" by B.J. Thomas. The song, originally written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller in 1955, offers an inspirational message of unity.
Selected stores could begin offering incentives as early as next week
A new report claims that a "significant number" of US Apple retail stores will begin offering carrier financing incentives from at least three of the four major carriers, beginning as soon as August 20.The financing plans, as previously reported, are offered by carrier offshoots such as Verizon's Edge or AT&T's Next, allow customers to include the cost of the iPhone itself spread out across a period of time, or what used to be called an "installment plan." The programs generally allow customers to upgrade phones more quickly than the full term of a contract.
Apple Stores to open early for iPad Air
Apple's retail stores will open early on Friday, Nov. 1 to serve customers eager to pick up the company's new iPad Air. Apple announced on its website on Thursday that Apple Stores will be opening at 8 a.m., an hour earlier than they typically open, in order to sell the new iPad. Apple has in the past opened its retail locations early for other product launches, including the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Move encourages customers to acquire Apple ID, hurts 'appointment scalpers'
In order to fight back against "scalpers" who book up and then sell prime Genius Bar appointment times in China and some big cities around the world, Apple is instituting a new policy that requires an individual Apple ID in order to book an appointment with an Apple Retail Store's technical staff. The move should help thwart the scalpers, and also encourage customers who don't already have an Apple ID to obtain one, and thus gain access to the company's other services -- from the iTunes Store to Apple's help forums.
Adelaide store sees lines fifteen hours ahead of opening
The opening of a new Apple Store is always an event, and Apple fans in Adelaide, South Australia, were excited enough about the first Apple retail outlet in their state to line up hours in advance of the store's opening. A reader in the area supplied AppleInsider with pictures and video showing a sizable line of Apple fans patiently three hours ahead of the store's opening. Some had been there for 12 hours before that.
Former Apple retail chief's job just happens to be open
Former Apple retail boss Ron Johnson is leaving department store chain JCPenney, fired after his plan to remake the venerable business in an effort to update to 21st century buying habits failed to win over customers. Johnson, who put the brakes on endless sales in favor of everyday low prices and remodelled stores to have "store within a store" concepts for major brands, will be succeeded by his predecessor, Mike Ullman. Johnson left Apple in late 2011 to revitalize the chain, but the 111-year-old company has posted losses for the last six quarters.
Microsoft retail poached employees with higher pay, promotions
Apple retail store employee wages are being increased by up to 25 percent, effective in July. The employees were told of the raises in face-to-face meetings with managers over the last two weeks, following an internal review ordered by John Browett, Apple's new retail chief. The raises were well-received, as raises generally are, but were viewed as long overdue.
Battery booster case doubles capacity, comes in seven colors
Purveyor of iPhone accessories Mophie's Juice Pack Plus is now available at both Apple's online and retail stores. The battery pack adds a 2000 mAh battery in a slim case, adding only one mm of thickness to the iPhone. The add-on battery case solution provides both protection for the iPhone and effectively doubles the device's energy reserves.
ARWU celebrates one year anniversary
Other World Computer has announced a new 32GB Memory Kit for 2011 iMac and 2010 27-inch iMac models. The OWC PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz chip has been fully tested to meet all Apple memory design and compatibility specifications and comes with a lifetime replacement warranty and step-by-step installation video. The upgrade kit can be purchased for $360, $240 less than Apple's own 16GB RAM kit.