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 →
As Apple holds a memorial on Wednesday at its Cupertino, California campus to honor the life of co-Founder Steve Jobs, the company will close its U.S. retail stores for at least an hour. Employees of several Apple Stores were informed of the closures at a private company event or by phone, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The exact duration of the closures is unknown, however one employee told the paper they could last up to three hours. Apple Store employees noted that closings of this kind typically only happen ahead of product launches. Steve Jobs’s funeral was held on October 7th, and a larger memorial event for friends, family, Apple employees and industry executives took place this past Sunday. Tomorrow’s event in Cupertino is for Apple employees only.
It’s 8:00 a.m., do you know where your iPhone is? The day is upon us and Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone is now available for purchase on the East Coast of the United States. Apple Stores that fall in the Eastern time zone are now open for business, and online pre-orders are out on delivery trucks en route to hundreds of thousands of homes across the country. As the sun moves west, retailers will open early and, in all likelihood, quickly sell through their limited launch day inventory. Did you pick up an iPhone today? Are you waiting in line for one right now? Post a comment below or shoot us an email and let us know how things are going. And if you already snagged a new iPhone 4S this morning, feel free to have Siri send that email for you.
There has been an outpouring of emotion ever since news broke that Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday. One BGR reader sent us in some photos of the new Apple Store in the ifc mall in Hong Kong. The inside of the front wall of the store is covered in Post-its with notes remembering Steve Jobs, and it’s nothing short of amazing. “It’s like a huge piece of art,” Nick wrote to us in his email. Indeed it is. Check out the rest of the photos in the gallery, and you can even zoom in on the photos to read some of the notes.
Thanks, Nick Lynch!
Despite assorted cries of disappointment following Apple’s iPhone 4S unveiling last Tuesday, pre-sales of the company’s latest smartphone have seemingly been nothing short of stellar. But this is hardly a surprise. AT&T sold more than 200,000 iPhone 4S handsets during the first 12 hours of pre-order availability, making this the carrier’s most successful iPhone launch to date according to a company spokesperson. No other carriers have revealed pre-order figures thus far, but Apple took in a total of 600,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders across all carriers and distribution channels last year on the first day of pre-sales availability. That figure was a record for Apple at the time. Read on for more. More →
Following BGR’s exclusive report that showed carriers are currently in the process of testing a 4G LTE-enabled iPhone, a new report raises additional questions surrounding Apple and its plans for LTE. Engadget has received a photograph from an anonymous tipstethatr reportedly shows LTE equipment that was recently installed at an unnamed Apple Store location. According to the report, the gear was installed by AT&T and it supports the 700MHz and AWS bands, which AT&T plans to use for 4G LTE if its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA is approved by regulators. No other information regarding the equipment was made available, though the report does go on to claim that Apple Stores in the region where this gear was installed are currently in the process of increasing their sales forces by 30%. Engadget says this increase is unrelated to the standard ramp-up in hires ahead of the holiday season each year, which occurs closer to the season.
UPDATE: Image removed at source’s request. More →
Authorities with China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce have uncovered 22 additional fake Apple Store outlets in Kunming, the largest city in the Yunnan Province, Reuters reported on Thursday. Kunming is where a blog named BirdAbroad first revealed the existence of unofficial Apple Stores that posed as the real deal. In late July Chinese officials closed down two of the stores for lacking business licenses, but allowed others to remain open because they have licenses to trade and sell genuine Apple products. Now, the stores are being forced to remove Apple’s official logo after Apple China accused them of violating its trademark. The Administration for Industry and Commerce will setup a hotline in an effort to catch more illegal stores. More →
Chinese trade officials have raided and shut down two of five fake Apple Stores in Kunming, BBC News reported on Monday. The two stores weren’t closed for impersonating an Apple Store, instead both were shuttered for lacking business licenses. Travel blog BirdAbroad brought attention to the fake stores last week when it detailed one convincing shop in Kunming that sold real Apple products. That shop has not been closed because it “has a license to trade and is selling genuine Apple products,” BBC News said. Several of the store’s employees believe that they work for a real Apple Store. The Cupertino-based company has yet to respond to the growing number of illegitimate outlets. More →
Apple is recruiting additional staff at U.S. Apple Store locations ahead of the launch of its highly anticipated fifth-generation iPhone. MacRumors reports that Apple is contacting former employees and asking them to come back as part time workers from August 15th through September 15th. In emails reportedly sent from Apple to the former retail staff, Apple says it is looking for part time employees to assist with the “holidays, new product launches and back to school time.” Apple is all but confirmed to be launching the iPhone 5 some time between late August and mid-September. The fifth-generation Apple smartphone is expected to include a faster dual-core processor, more storage space and an 8-megapixel camera, and it might feature a redesigned case as well. Apple may also launch new iPod touch models and a new iPad with a Retina Display at the same time, though it will likely be a complimentary “iPad Pro” model as opposed to a new iPad 3 if it does in fact launch this fall. More →
Apple has reached a deal with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to open a massive Apple Store in the main terminal at Grand Central. Several publications including the New York Post reported the deal over the weekend, which Apple has been negotiating since early this year. The 23,000-square-foot retail shop will be the largest Apple Store location to date, and it will occupy the space currently inhabited by renowned chef Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant. According to the terms of the deal as reported by the Post, Apple will pay $800,000 annually for the retail space during the length of the 10-year contract. Should Apple re-sign the lease in 2021, the rent will increase to more than $1 million each year. Charlie Palmer’s restaurant group paid just over $300,000 each year for the space, the report claims. The MTA’s financial committee is expected to green-light the deal on Monday, and then it will be reviewed Wednesday by the body’s board of directors. “[The deal with Apple] has the potential to bring a great new shopping destination to iconic Grand Central Terminal and significantly increase revenues for the MTA’s transportation system,” the MTA said in a statement. The MTA expects the deal to bring in at least $5 million in profit for the agency. More →