A personal travel blog titled BirdAbroad recently published a story and photos detailing fake Apple Stores that have started to pop up in China. A few such stores exist in Kunming, the largest city in the Yunnan Province, and employees have faked the real Apple Store atmosphere so well that a number of Chinese residents believe the stores are legitimate outlets. Several of the customers are now furious after hearing the truth. “When I heard the news I rushed here immediately to get the receipt, I am so upset,” a near teary-eyed customer surnamed Wang told Reuters. “With a store this big, it looks so believable who would have thought it was fake?” Wang reportedly bought an iPhone 3G and a 13-inch MacBook Pro last month for a total of $2,170, but was not issued a receipt. “Where’s my receipt, you promised me my receipt last month!” Wang yelled at the store’s employees, before “being whisked away to an upstairs room,” Reuters said. Members of the staff, who are outfitted with blue shirts and Apple name tags, believe that they are real Apple employees. The Wall Street Journal was able to reach one Kungming staff member by phone. “It doesn’t make much of a difference for us whether we’re authorized or not,” the staffer said. “I just care that what I sell every day are authentic Apple products, and that our customers don’t come back to me to complain about the quality of the products.” Apple has yet to respond to the reports. Read on for a few more images of the fake Kunming store taken by BirdAbroad. More →
An Apple Store employee in San Francisco named Cory Moll has moved to create a union for himself and other Apple Store workers, Reuters is reporting. Moll hopes that such a union would provide workers with increased wages, better benefits, and a backing against Apple’s “unfair practices.” “The core issues definitely involve compensation, pay, benefits,” Moll, a thirty-year old who currently makes $14 per hour, told Reuters. It could all be a pipe dream for now: “There’s a lot of hesitation to want to speak about it,” Moll said. “I don’t think there’s 50 percent (support) in any one store but as people talk about it, we could get close in a couple of stores,” he added. Moll would need the majority of a store’s employees to be on board in order to create a union. More →
Citing a growing number of employees who weren’t happy with the IT team or their aging company-issued gear, Clorox’s CIO Ralph Loura decided to move away from BlackBerry smartphones. Instead, Loura provided company employees with a choice: an iPhone, a Windows Phone 7 device or an Android-powered smartphone. “If you believe demographic studies, the workforce in their 20s and 30s isn’t going to accept black corporate PCs with black corporate mobile phones and not be allowed to run Facebook or Angry Bird apps,” Loura explained during a keynote at the SNW conference in Santa Clara, California on Thursday. So what phones did Clorox employees choose? Of the 2,000 new smartphones distributed throughout the firm so far, 92% were iPhones. 6% of employees chose an Android device while 2% took Windows Phone 7 smartphones. Loura said Clorox also replaced 6,000 of its desktop computers with thinner HP laptops. More →
An eagle-eyed reader has directed our attention to an interesting tweet published by Imran Shahid, an HTC regional sales manager handling Verizon accounts. According to Shahid, HTC’s ThunderBolt handset will launch on Verizon Wireless next Thursday, March 17th. The aforementioned timeline predates our prognostication by a mere four days, but we’re sure that won’t upset you all that much. We’ve reached out to HTC and will update this post with any comment it provides.
UPDATE: That didn’t take long. Mr. Shahid has removed the tweet from his account. More →
We’ve just confirmed with wireless carrier Sprint that the company will begin taking pre-orders for the HTC 7 Pro Windows Phone 7 device beginning on November 8th. Now, before you get too excited… the offer is for Microsoft employees only. Sprint did not share any additional details about the why the employee program exists, what general consumer availability of the device would be, or device pricing. Sprint’s statement contradicts rumors that have been circulating the web stating that the company would be offering pre-orders of the HTC device to the general public on the 8th.
Regardless of the employee pre-order date, HTC has publicly stated that the CDMA-capable 7 Pro would not be available until sometime in 2011. Combine that unambiguous statement with the fact that HTC did not have a working prototype of the device at the WP7 launch event last month, and: 2011 still seems like the proper timeline to us. Although, in this instance… we wouldn’t mind being wrong. More →