Reports of a staged protest outside an Apple Store emerged last week after a bus full of paid activists dressed in all black stood outside an Apple Store in Australia chanting “wake up.” Early reports suggested Samsung and marketing agency Tongue were behind the staged event, but after Samsung denied any involvement, a potential new culprit has arisen. Macworld’s Australian sister site did some digging and found code on Tongue’s Wake Up website that points not to Samsung, but instead to Research In Motion. The code in question, an account identifier within a DoubleClick URL, has been revealed as RIM’s ID for its Australian website. Macworld also notes that “Blunty,” the bystander who just so happened to capture the protest on camera, has worked with RIM in the past when he posted a three-part video review of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet ahead of its launch in Australia. More →
iPad launch day is quite a fiasco. Apple Stores around the country see eager customers line up hours or even days ahead of the tablet’s release, and people often wait hours before they finally make it into the store to purchase an iPad — if there are any left. While there was still plenty of hype surrounding this year’s launch, it didn’t quite seem the same. Apple’s new iPad is a big upgrade compared to the previous model, featuring a faster dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, an upgraded 5-megapixel camera, optional embedded 4G LTE, a slightly redesigned case and a gorgeous better-than-1080p HD Retina Display. But launch day still seemed much more subdued than it was for the release of the original iPad and the iPad 2. Read on for more. More →
For readers in the United States who were too eager to pre-order a new iPad and wait for it to be shipped, too tired to head out at midnight and purchase an iPad from Walmart, and too sane to fly east and buy Apple’s new slate before the sun rises over North America, 8:00 a.m. is go-time. Apple’s new iPad is finally available for purchase from brick and mortar retailers on the East Coast, and lines have been forming throughout the night as Apple fans look to get their hands on the company’s latest wares. The new iPad features a faster dual-core Apple A5X processor, an improved 5-megapixel camera, optional 4G LTE connectivity and, of course, Apple’s new Retina Display with better-than-1080p HD resolution. We’ll publish our iPad review some time next week and in the meantime, we’ll have a hands-on preview up later this morning and BGR Editor-in-chief Jonathan Geller will be appearing live on CNBC’s Fast Money around 12:00 p.m. EDT to discuss the new iPad.
UPDATE: Our quick hands-on preview is now live.
Apple Stores are often busy and with the release of new iPhones and iPads, Apple’s retail locations become bombarded with waves of excited customers. According to Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf, the launch of the iPhone 4S sent Apple Store sales to record heights during the holiday quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2011, revenue per store reached $17.08 million, a 42.6% increase over the same quarter in 2010. The average number of visitors per store was up 15.3% annually and sales per square foot reached $2,033 for the quarter — by comparison, the company’s nearest retail rival Tiffany & Co. saw sales of $2,974 per square foot last quarter, Fortune noted. Apple currently has 361 retail locations with 40 more planned for 2012, 30 of which will open overseas. The company currently has five locations in China and is looking to increase that number to 25 within the next three years. More →
Last week rumors began to circulate that Apple was planning to open itsy bitsy retail stores in as many as 25 Target locations. During a presentation on Thursday, Target confirmed that it will have 25 stores featuring “special displays” of Apple products. Neither company has provided details on the partnership, however it will likely be similar to Apple’s deal with Best Buy, which sells the company’s products from dedicated mini stores within more than 600 Best Buy locations. More →
Apple may be planning to open retail stores inside as many as 25 Target locations, according to recent rumors. The partnership would likely be similar to Apple’s deal with Best Buy, which sells the Cupertino-based company’s products from dedicated mini-stores within more than 600 Best Buy locations. AppleInsider said Friday that Apple is likely interested in Target so that it can offer its products in markets that are too small for a full blown Apple Store. Apple’s senior vice president of retail operations, Ron Johnson, once served as an executive at Target, so there is a new link between the two companies that could add some weight to this rumor. More →
We just elbowed our way through crowds, crawled on the ground under legs and ducked beneath cameras to bring you a look at the insanity that is Apple’s Grand Central Terminal Apple Store (grand) opening. The line to get in was wrapped deep inside and around the corridors of Grand Central Station, and there were hundreds of people gathered around the steps of the East Balcony entrance as well. Those who are smart enough to steer clear of the bedlam should be sure to check out our photo gallery below, and stay tuned for more pictures once if we can manage to fight our way inside.
Apple officially announced Wednesday that it will open its brand new Apple Store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 9th. It is the fifth Apple Store location in Manhattan. Apple has 315 employees working at the store, there will be two Genius Bars, and the company will use Grand Central’s balcony coves for personal training and personal setup rooms. The Apple Store Grand Central is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Apple’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Apple confirmed on its website Monday that its brand new 23,000-square-foot retail store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal will open on Friday, December 9th at 10:00 a.m. The Apple Store will be located on the East Balcony of the train station’s main terminal. Unlike Apple’s 5th Avenue location, the Grand Central store will not be open 24 hours a day. It will close at 9:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. Despite initial reports that Apple’s deal with New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) had soured, Apple officially won approval to occupy the Grand Central Terminal space in July. Apple reportedly agreed to a 10-year contract with the MTA, during which it will pay $800,000 per year to occupy the space. Original rumors suggested that Apple’s Grand Central store would be the world’s largest, those claims have not been confirmed. More →
Apple on Friday began offering a factory-unlocked version of its popular iPhone 4S smartphone that will work on any GSM network in the world. The company now sells the unlocked phone in both black and white starting at $649 for the 16GB model. The 32GB iPhone 4S costs $749 unlocked, and the high-end 64GB model costs $849. No carrier contract is required with the purchase of an unlocked iPhone 4S from Apple’s online store, and the vendor is currently quoting shipping estimates of between 1 and 2 weeks. Apple also notes that while the device will work on a variety of GSM networks around the world, it will not work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint. More →
Apple on Tuesday released a highly anticipated update to its Apple Store app for iOS, adding functionality that may represent the future of the company’s retail operations. The new app was released five days later than initially planned and while the cause of the delay is unclear, Apple’s new Store app includes all of the great functionality BGR exclusively detailed last week. Apple’s change log for version 2.0 includes “Personal Pickup,” giving users the ability to make purchases in the app and then pick them up at a local Apple Store of their choosing, and “EasyPasy,” a self-checkout feature that allows iPhone 4 and 4S users to scan and pay for accessories without any required interaction with Apple retail staff. Apple’s updated Apple Store app is available immediately in the App Store. More →
We’re live outside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City where Apple has just unveiled the redesign of its iconic glass cube. This is easily one of the most recognizable Apple retail outlets in the world, and the new design makes it infinitely more elegant. There are now fewer glass panels than before and the redesign looks terrific in the morning light. A few store employees are standing outside making sure that nobody will “get fingerprints on the glass” before the grand opening. We’ll be taking more photos once the store opens but in the meantime, check out our images of Apple’s new 5th Avenue store in the gallery below.
UPDATE: The doors are now open and we’ve added almost 30 new images to the gallery, including several of the redesigned interior of the store.
While information about Apple’s new iOS app and retail plans have leaked out in various forms over the past few weeks, we now have the whole story thanks to a trusted source. On Thursday, Apple’s new retail store app for iOS will launch, and it will bring two major features with it. First, it will enable online ordering with retail store pick up. This has already started happening in a few stores in California and New York City Apple stores as well, and more stores will go live on Thursday. Hit the jump for details on what happens when you place an order through the app to pick up in a retail store nearby. More →