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.
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.
Apple Pay is headed to Europe. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
A job ad that made a brief appearance on Apple’s website before being taken down has confirmed that Apple Pay is on its way to Europe. The listing called for a London-based intern who would “drive the roll-out” of Apple’s new mobile payment system across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa.
iOS 8 is cruising through the final stages of development ahead of its fall release, and while most users can’t wait for its arrival, one NY-based startup already had to cut a third of its staff, after privacy changes in iOS 8 have threatened to already make its retail tracking technology obsolete.
Nomi, a startup that creates solutions for retail stores to track shoppers and their spending habits, has laid off 20 of its 60 or so employees, thanks in part to some small changes in iOS 8 that make make it impossible to identify repeat visits from shoppers with an iPhone.
Critics slammed Steve Jobs when he opened the first Apple Store nearly 13 years ago, but now that Apple’s retail space makes more money per square foot than Tiffany’s, everyone from Samsung to Microsoft has been trying to duplicate Apple’s success.
To see just how quickly Apple Stores have invaded the U.S., Retale created an interactive map that plots each new store opening since 2001. Each blue dot in the GIF above represents a new store opening, starting with the original Apple Store in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
254 Apple Stores now dot the country with an additional 170 outlets open internationally, but six sad states in U.S. are still waiting for their first Apple shrines to open. Check out Retale’s site for a full breakdown on when each store opened and the flagship products that brought customers into Steve’s aluminum and glass utopias.
Apple is making it quicker than ever to return unwanted iPhones and other gadgets purchased online with a new policy that gives customers refunds twice as fast.
In an effort to boost direct sales from its website, Apple has decided to take a big upfront cost on returns, according to Reuters, but the small move could give it the boost it needs to compete with Amazon and Best Buy online.
Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, is one of Cupertino’s most widely anticipated hires in ages. The CEO of popular fashion chain Burberry, Ahrendts is so well-suited to lead Apple’s retail ambitions, and such a powerhouse executive in her own right, that many have wondered if Tim Cook is planning to have her replace him as CEO when he retires.
But when is Ahrendts going to join Apple officially? She was originally expected this month, but it’s now looking like she might push her start until June.
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?