Hungry publicity hound saves his spot in Apple history

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Greg Packer is described as a professional line-sitter with a knack for getting publicity. He often can be found at or near the front of the line at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City whenever a new iPhone is about to go on sale.
Greg Packer goes where the new iPhones are.
Photo: Gizmodo

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugGreg Packer is a shirtless footnote in the history of the iPhone. The retired highway maintenance worker from Long Island made a name for himself as the first person to line up for the sale of the first iPhone in 2007.

During his nearly weeklong stint sitting outside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City, scores of reporters came by to interview him as he sat in a lawn chair, at times not bothering to put on a shirt during his many closeups.

India will fast-track approval for Apple Stores

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India
Apple wants to dramatically improve its 2 percent share on the smartphone market in India.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

India has indicated it will bypass the usual regulations for foreign companies and grant easy approval for Apple to establish retail outlets there.

This comes as CEO Tim Cook tries to tap new global markets, especially India, a country of 1.3 billion people where it has seen small gains in iPhone sales.

Apple’s biggest wins (and most epic fails) of 2015

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It was the best of designs, it was the worst of designs. Apple  really went for it in 2015, with varying degrees of success.
It was the best of designs, it was the worst of designs. Apple really went for it in 2015, with varying degrees of success.
Image: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's Best of 2015 2015 was a bold year for Apple. The company jumped into new product categories, polished its existing hardware and software lines, and wowed us repeatedly.

Apple also made most of us throw up in our mouths a little bit now and then, due to some questionable (and some undeniably bad) choices.

These are Apple’s biggest wins and most epic fails of the past year, as remembered — fondly and otherwise — by Cult of Mac staffers.

Here’s how Apple plans to give stores a next-gen makeover

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Apple store istanbul
Apple Stores are about to look like this inside and out.
Photo: Apple

Memphis will be one of the first cities in the U.S. to get a ‘next generation’ Apple Store, as part of Apple’s big retail revamp that’s expected to start later this year.

Apple has applied for a $1.5 million building permit for a new storefront and interior renovation at 2031 West St, according to a new report that claims the store will be one of Apple’s first new stores with the next-gen design. It’s unclear what kind of layout the new stores will have, but Apple’s application does reveal a few details on how the company plans to gussy up the new retail locations.

Apple Watches won’t be available to buy in-store until June at earliest

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Mel Togusen, left, and her friend,  Chris Brown, look at different styles of Apple Watches. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
Sure, you can look, but don't expect to be able to buy an Apple Watch in-store until June. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

If you missed out on placing a preorder for an Apple Watch because you thought you’d be able to wait until April 24 and then buy one from your local Apple Store, prepare to be disappointed.

That’s because — according to a new memo sent to Apple Store employees by retail chief Angela Ahrendts — no Apple Watches at all will be available to buy as walk-in purchases until June at the earliest: five weeks after Apple’s wearable devices begin shipping.

Apple Stores sent back in time during yesterday’s DNS outage

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Heading
Anyone want to work out what yesterday's mishap cost Apple? Photo: The Dark Knight
Photo: The Dark Knight

Yesterday’s Apple outages brought digital sales for services like iTunes to a standstill, but it also caused things to grind to a halt in some brick-and-mortar Apple Stores. The down time sent retail back to the days before, well, Apple was there to shake it up.

For a window of approximately two hours, Apple Store employees in certain places were unable to check in to work, stores were unable to make sales and Genius Bar appointments were unable to be kept. Employees were apparently unable to check email for even longer.

China’s going to get another 25 Apple Stores by 2016

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Customers at the Apple Store in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: FullbridgeProgram/Flickr CC
Customers at the Apple Store in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: FullbridgeProgram/Flickr CC

Here in 2014, news of a new Apple Store in the U.S. may be nothing special, but when you hear that Cupertino plans to open 25 retail stores in China in the next two years you sit up and pay attention!

According to Tim Cook, who was interviewed during his current China visit, Apple is set to greatly increase its retail presence in the country — from 15 stores currently, to 40 stores in 2016.

Cook also discussed China’s potential as the biggest Apple market in the world, saying that, “In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.”

Scammer used closed accounts to spend thousands at Apple Stores

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creditcard

A Florida man has been charged with federal wire fraud for racking up $309,000 in illegal credit card transactions, with many of them carried out at Apple Stores.

Sharron L. Parrish Jr. visited different Apple Stores — including those in Brandon, Boca Raton, Millennia and Wellington Green — and spent up to $7,400 in each one; adding up to a total of 42 purchases.

Apple Stores will soon run on 100% renewable energy

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Apple's VP of Environmental Initiatives recently laid out the company's plans for its next eco-friendly moves.
Apple's VP of Environmental Initiatives recently laid out the company's plans for its next eco-friendly moves.

Hearing an Apple executive talk about their work in a relaxed setting is pretty unusual stuff, but that’s what happened earlier this week when Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of Environmental Initiatives, spoke as part of Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference.

The 16-minute conversation, with Fortune Senior Editor (and former Apple author) Adam Lashinsky, touches on various topics related to Apple’s desire to go green — including some potentially revolutionary plans for its 400+ chain of retail stores.

Skip The Apple Store And Get Deeper Discounts [Report]

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Customers might avoid this delightful eye-candy to save a few bucks.
Customers might avoid this delightful eye-candy to save a few bucks.

When you walk into an Apple Store — the minimalist design, the Macbook screens tilted just so, the approachable, encyclopedic sales staff — you might be forgiven for being a little bit speechless.

It’s not unlike walking into a Porsche or Mercedes dealership — you don’t expect to find bargain bins full of junk. The presentation is, in fact, as important as the product, and once inside, you’re going to hand over your money to get both.

Even though Apple stores have become tourist attractions in their own right where folks come from countries like Sweden and Brazil to purchase these great products at prices lower than at home, savvy customers might someday shun those stunning glass facades and signature spiral staircases for cheaper prices found elsewhere.

A new report by DealNews shows that Apple products are getting deeper discounts sooner in a product lifecycle than ever before, begging the question: is the Apple Store the best place to buy your gear?