Tag - Retail
A long-running store that provided Apple-related products and services is preparing to shut down in New York City, after 29 years of operation. Founded in 1987 and predating Apple's own retail empire by more than a decade, Tekserve has confirmed it is preparing to shutter its store and wind down its service center over the next two months, with around 70 people losing their jobs from the West 23rd Street store's closure.
Apple may have its own retail outlets in India after all, as the government has made changes to requirements hindering the company's progress. Rules that force retailers to source at least 30 percent of its products from within the country have been eased, giving Apple and other major companies with their own retail presence the ability to open stores in India, without having to worry about fulfilling the requirement for a while.
For reasons not yet clear, Apple appears to be recalling all AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule base stations from its US retail stores, and may have suspended its Personal Pickup service, at least temporarily, from a variety of stores around the country. Despite a recent firmware update to some models of AirPort, the pulling of the units could be to ensure compliance with some new sales restrictions on older equipment that takes effect on June 2. It is also possible that the devices could be refreshed at or around the Worldwide Developers Conference in mid-June.
On the 15th anniversary of the opening of the first two Apple retail stores, the company's SVP of Retail, Dame Angela Ahrendts, led journalists on a public preview of the forthcoming new Union Square flagship store in San Francisco, California. The new store, which has been under construction for two years, features 42-foot-tall glass doors that slide open that are unique to this story, the latest next-generation store layout and design from Sir Jonathan Ive and Ahrendts, and a back "green" wall that features a Wi-Fi plaza that is open 24 hours a day, and includes a historic fountain by artist Ruth Asawa.
Apple is looking to move into some or all of 61,000 square-feet of prime retail space at the bottom of the GM building, right behind where its iconic Steve Jobs-designed square glass box-domed Fifth Avenue store currently stands, reports the New York Post. Initially, the move could be temporary, as its basement-level operations at the Fifth Avenue store is getting overcrowded, and the company is keen to give the store a revamp.
[Article updated with additional details, photos] A sales representative for high-profile handbag and satchel maker Coach has revealed that the fashion designer is planning to partner with Apple for a range of fashion bands for the Apple Watch that will likely start to debut in June, though some may follow across the rest of the year. The nine bands, which may reflect that seasonal colors, decorations, charms, and styling of the company's spring line of bags, are said to be retailing for $150 and will likely be sold at the company's boutiques and online. Unlike a collaboration with French fashion company Hermés, the Coach line appears to be offering bands only.
Retailer Best Buy, which has been holding sales on the current models of the MacBook family, has now listed all models of 12-inch Retina MacBook as "discontinued," which is a likely sign that the model, which is now just over one year old, is about to get a refresh. Some other retailers have sold out on several configurations with no plans to replenish the line, while some others that still have stock, such as B&H Photo and MacMall, have dropped prices in a clear event to move existing inventory. Current rumors project the MacBook line to move up to more current processors, and that the MacBook Air line will be folded in under the "MacBook" moniker.
One of the first handful "next-generation" Apple Stores in the US have opened over the past month, co-designed by Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive and Apple SVP of Retail Dame Angela Ahrendts. The new stores, seen in Albany and Buffalo in New York and the Memphis suburb of Germantown in Tennessee, are not radical departures from what has come before -- but do features some noticeable refinements and changes, including using more "natural" materials like wooden wall installations, more natural sunlight and plants where possible, a front facade with no obvious Apple branding, and a centerpiece 37-foot television display where the Genius Bar used to be.
The newly-released iPhone SE, a four-inch iPhone model with most of the same functionality as the iPhone 6s, looks to be doing the job it was designed to do in winning more share in developing markets -- if reports from local retailers in China are true. CNBC reported on Monday that pre-orders for the unit have exceeded 3.4 million units during its opening weekend. The iPhone SE is currently in pre-order in 13 countries and territories, and will expand to another 47 more in the near future.
Sprint is expanding its retail presence in the United States, by receiving some help from a European mobile phone retailer. Following on from a successful pilot scheme that ran last summer, Dixons Carphone's Connected World Services division will be working with the carrier to open up 500 more retail locations in a number of states across the country, with the two companies holding an equal ownership interest in the Sprint-branded stores.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE