And the Beats go on, but now at Apple

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 08:04
Category: Announcement, Apple, Hardware, iTunes Radio, Retail Store, Services

Pardon the Sonny & Cher pun, but it had to be done. Yesterday, Apple confirmed that it has, amidst much rumor, hints, and speculation, acquired both Beats Electronics and Beats Music. The cost of getting the maker of the popular headphones, speakers, and audio software, as well as the streaming subscription music service, turns out to be about $3 billion total. That amount consists of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time according to the Apple press release. The deal is expected to close in fiscal Q4, subject to regulatory approval.

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Apple Stores moving towards becoming 100% Green

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 08:21
Category: Apple, Environment, News, Retail Store

apple_chrome_logo_leafIn a recent Fortune interview, as part of the Brainstorm Green conference, Apple’s VP of Environmental Initiatives spoke about Apple’s continued drive towards using 100% renewable energy. During the interview, Jackson touched upon Apple’s use of renewable energy for their data centers (100%), their corporate facilities (94%), and plans for the new “spaceship” Apple campus. Jackson said that Apple’s next big challenge is to convert the hundreds of Apple retail stores around the country to 100% renewable energy, something that is likely to be a little more complicated as she explains;

“In some places they’re in a mall … literally a shopping center. In some cases, they’re standalone stores. But where they are in the grid and where they are in the world, the access to clean energy may or may not be a trivial exercise.”

Jackson’s previous role as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, makes her a good choice as their top environmental advisor, which she began in May 2013. For the entire video of the interview, hit the jump…

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Apple’s iPhone upgrade promotion starts today

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Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 08:33
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, News, Promotion, Retail Store

iphones-5s-5c

According to 9to5Mac, sources close to Apple say that starting today (May 8th), Apple will begin contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email this week, inviting them to come into their local Apple Store to upgrade their device to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. No trade-in prices have been mentioned, but it’s expected that this is an extension of Apple’s iPhone hardware trade-in program which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Reports from outside sources have said that Apple has recently increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-programwhich it may be leveraging in the promotion in an attempt to increase iPhone sales.

Back in January, Apple posted its first quarter iPhone sales and analysts were disappointed that it didn’t meet their expectations. Even though Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 47.8 million a year earlier, Wall Street analysts were expecting closer to 57 million iPhones to be sold. These “disappointing” numbers may be the impetus behind the upgrade promotion which will hopefully bring up sales numbers for the current quarter.

What about you? If Apple knocks on your door, are you inclined to run to your nearest store to upgrade your iPhone? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

Apple celebrates Earth Day with modified logo

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, 09:40
Category: Apple, Environment, Retail Store

apple_chrome_logo_leafApril 22nd is Earth Day, and for the first time in eight years, Apple is acknowledging it by modifying its logo for the day. Some stores, such as the Nanjing East store in Shanghai, have updated the store’s traditional logo to one with a green leaf, which we can see thanks to Instagram user Znnina who posted a photo of the store’s updated logo. As part of the celebration, select stores will be giving employees special Earth Day shirts to wear. Apple has also posted a new “Better” video highlighting its environmental initiatives. It was just in the news recently that Apple has purchased a hydroelectric plant to help power its North Carolina data center.

In addition, Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, posted an open letter about Apple’s efforts to, “…continue to put nature at the center of our business and design principles.”.

 

 

Apple TV now comes with $25 gift card

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 09:54
Category: Announcement, Apple, Apple TV, Promotion, Retail Store, Rumor, Television

appletv_2ndgenLast week Apple announced a promotion where anyone who buys a new Apple TV (no refurbs) will receive a $25 iTunes gift card. Unfortunately, the promotion ends in 2 days on Wednesday, March 5th. The internet has been buzzing about the possibility that the promotion is a sign that a new Apple TV model announcement is imminent, and that this is an effort to clear out current stock of the devices. Sadly, while lax on the details (like none), Apple insider and founder of The Loop magazine Jim Dalrymple says it ain’t gonna happen…at least not in the near future. Jim usually has the genuine inside track on all things Apple, so he’s probably on the nose about this. There have been a lot of supposed signs that a new Apple TV is in the works, but likely won’t hit shelves until the latter part of the year, although there are still rumors flying around that at least an announcement of the upcoming device might be made at WWDC. Frankly, I’m not in any rush, my current Apple TV (1st of the 2nd Gen) does everything I need right now, but I am very curious as to what Apple has up its sleeves now that it’s no longer a “hobby”

 

 

Tim Cook hints at possible mobile payment feature

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 28th, 2014, 13:40
Category: App Store, Apple, Business, iOS, iPhone, iTunes, Retail Store, security

touch-id-iconApple’s earnings numbers weren’t the only thing that came out of Monday’s call. As is typical, analysts were given the chance to put some questions to CEO Tim Cook. Also typical, Apple’s answers were fairly vague. When asked about Apple’s plans for entering the mobile payment space and how Touch ID technology might be applied, Cook responded;

“[...] we’re seeing that people love being able to buy content—whether it’s music or movies or books, from their iPhone using Touch ID. It’s incredibly simple and easy, and elegant, and it’s clear that there’s a lot of opportunity there.

The mobile payments area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with. That was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID, but we’re not limiting ourselves just to that. So I don’t have anything specific to announce today. But you can tell by looking at the demographics of our customers, and the amount of commerce that goes through iOS devices versus the competition that it’s a big opportunity on the platform.”

A number of reports have speculated that Apple plans to offer the ability to purchase online and physical items through a user’s iTunes account, which for most iPhone users already has their credit card information. Touch ID would be used as an added layer of security by not exposing the credit card info itself, simply passing off the transaction to iTunes. In the light of the recent hacking of Target’s customer credit card info, along with other similar incidents in the recent past, iPhone users may find mobile payments more appealing. Authorizing transactions with Touch ID then steps in to make payments quick with additional protection of a customer’s information. This could give Apple some leverage to increase the adoption of their iBeacon technology. If you’ve ever used the Apple Store app on your iPhone to buy something at their retail stores, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how it would all work together. Now the only thing you need to do is not feel oddly guilty when you grab a product, scan it with your iPhone, and walk out the door without talking to anyone.

Apple starts repairing iPhone 5C screens in stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014, 09:28
Category: Apple, AppleCare, Hardware, iPhone, News, retail, Retail Store

AppleGeniusBarBack in November we mentioned Apple’s plans to start offering in-store screen replacements for the iPhone 5S and 5C. This week, Apple started its roll-out of iPhone 5C repairs, so if you’ve got an iPhone 5C with a cracked or broken screen, the Geniuses at the local Apple Store can replace it while you wait, rather than sending it out. This makes two models that can be repaired in-store, the iPhone 5 and now the 5C. The 5S, for now, still needs to be sent into Apple for repairs, possibly due to the added complications of working around the Touch-ID sensor/home button. No news yet on when the 5S plan will get rolled out. As we reported before, the in-store replacement cost should be $150, with the price being $80 if your iPhone is covered by the original warranty or an AppleCare plan. The policy should be rolled out to all stores by the end of this week, but could take a little longer if the store is not in or near a large city.

iBeacon rollout in Apple Stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 12th, 2013, 08:28
Category: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, News, privacy, retail, Retail Store, Services, Software

apple-store-ibeaconLast week Apple started rolling out iBeacon, Apple’s location based technology that offers a “better user experience”. What they mean is that when you are in a store with an iPhone, they can track your location to the foot, allowing iBeacon to send you notifications with info on the product you are standing in front of, coupons, sales, or general info on the store. It has been pointed out that Apple use coupons and rarely has sales (except Black Friday), but since the iBeacon technology will be sold outside of Apple, it is sure to be used by the likes of Target and Walmart.

 

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Apple releases plans for new San Francisco store

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Date: Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 08:07
Category: Apple, News, Retail Store

apple_logoNot long ago, word went out that Apple was planning to move its downtown San Francisco location to a newly designed building two blocks away. The space they chose is across from the historical Union Square Park, and replaces the building that was formerly the Levi’s retail store. This move will be the first relocation of a high-profile Apple store in the 12 years since Apple began making its retail presence. Perhaps becoming one of the more public of Apple’s store constructions, concerns arose when plans for the new store indicated the removal of the fountain designed by noted artist Ruth Asawa and constructed in 1970. This, along with some other design elements, prompted a great deal of criticism. Around August of this year, the architects submitted design changes that retained the fountain (although it will be moved 10 feet) as well as changes to the building to make it less “massive” and jarring with the surrounding architecture. Now, according to ifo Apple Store, as part of a plan to gain city approval for its expanded San Francisco retail store design, Apple’s architects have submitted a package of renderings, photographs, architectural drawings and descriptions describing the construction in minute detail. In addition, the plans have been made public for all to see, an unprecedented move by Apple who usually keeps all building plans under wraps. You can check out a number of proposal renderings on ifo Apple Store’s site here and download the 127-page PDF of the complete building plans here.

Apple posts Christmas delivery order details

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, 09:39
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Holiday, iMac, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Retail Store

Apple-Christmas-ListWith the next big shopping holiday just around the corner, shoppers have to think ahead if they want to beat the shipping avalanche before Christmas. To help its iShoppers this holiday season, Apple has posted a delivery guide to help make sure that everyone’s iGoodie is safely under the tree in time to give Santa the credit. By the way, Apple is offering free shipping on everything until Dec 22nd. A few examples of the big sellers are;

  • MacBook Pro – Standard config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 18, Next Day order by Dec. 22
  • MacBook Air – Custom config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 16, Next Day order N/A
  • iMac – Standard config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 18, Next Day order by Dec. 22
  • iPad mini with Retina display - Engraved or no engraving – Standard shipping order by Dec. 5, Next Day order N/A
  • iPad Air – Engraved or no engraving – Standard shipping order by Dec. 9, Next Day order N/A
  • iPhone 5S – All config – Standard shipping order by Dec. 12, Next Day order N/A

Those deadlines are creeping up fast, so better head over to the Online Store or your nearest retail location before the elves beat you to it!