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


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.

Square’s new app gives retailers real-time sales data


Square's new Dashboard app lets business owners track and compare real-time sales.
Photo: Square

Square continues to add to its lineup of small business tools, especially for owners and managers who want an overall better grip on their businesses. It’s introducing a new Dashboard app that does just that: it lets owners track sales in real-time right from an iPhone. Still, the only requirement is a free Square account.

Angela Ahrendts rallies the troops as Apple Watch launch looms


Apple's retail chief sends out a video message to help prep employees for this Friday. Photo: Apple
Apple's retail chief sends out a video message to help prep employees for this Friday. Photo: Apple

In a video sent out to Apple retail employees, Apple’s senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts clarified that the Apple Watch will be arriving for many customers this Friday, but that online ordering was still the only way the Apple Watch can be purchased right now.

Ahrendts talks directly to retail employees, reminding them that the Apple Watch isn’t the only great new product aut right now, but that it is an entirely new type of product and way of selling things for Apple.

“This is not just a new product for us, this is an entirely new category,” she says in the video, “and it is the first time we’ve ever previewed a product two weeks before the availability.”

Even with the horrible audio echoes and Ahrendts’ vocal-pause-laden and seemingly unrehearsed speech, the video is a fascinating look at the messaging all Apple retail staff will be hearing this week as they prepare for the hordes of new customers looking to buy an Apple Watch or new Macbook.

The retail Apple Watch may still have its secret port


Photo: Cult of Mac
Photo: Cult of Mac

Last month, we reported that the Apple Watch boasted a secret port that could be used in the future to unlock cool accessories… and, maybe, jailbreak the Apple Watch. Later reports, though, indicated that this port was an Apple-only diagnostic port, that could be missing from retail models.

If that’s true, though, no one told Apple’s retail stores. The Apple Watch units available for try-on appointments at Apple Stores around the world still have the diagnostic port.