Apple temporarily shutters Philadelphia store during protests

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Apple Store temporarily closed.
Store will be closed through November 4.
Photo: Apple

Apple temporarily shuttered its Apple Walnut Street retail store in Philadelphia as the city is rocked by protests and riots following the killing of a black man, Walter Wallace Jr., by police.

According to Apple’s website, the store is closed from now through at least November 4. An asterisk on the page lists this as “special store hours.”

COVID-19, riots finish off Minneapolis Apple Store

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Say goodbye to the Uptown Apple Store in Minneapolis.
The Uptown Apple Store in Minneapolis didn’t survive multiple blows from 2020.
Photo: Apple

The Uptown Apple Store in Minneapolis closed its doors for good. Though it might be more accurate to say the store won‘t reopen, as it’s been shuttered to the public since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That didn’t stop the store from being damaged by rioters in May after the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. 2020 has been just extra hard on it.

French iPhone 12 buyers get free EarPods — in a ridiculously huge box

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Free iPhone headphones are still a thing in France.
In France, the Apple Store keeps giving free headphones with every new iPhone sold this autumn.
Screenshot: Apple

The Apple Store stopped bundling free headphones with all new iPhones sold this autumn. But that’s not true in France. In that one country, buyers still get a pair of EarPods with their purchase… in a relatively enormous box.

But French consumers don’t get a wall charger in the box. That’s true for every iPhone buyer.

Apple reminds iPhone 12 customers of all the ways they can buy devices

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There are plenty of ways to buy a new iPhone or iPad, either online or in stores, including new Shopping Sessions.
There are plenty of ways to buy a new iPhone or iPad, including new Shopping Sessions.
Photo: Apple

Thanks to COVID-19, the idea of queuing up for an iPhone, huddling up with other people eager to get their hands on the latest Apple smartphone, seems like the stuff of another lifetime in 2020.

To ensure that as many people as possible can get the iPhone 12, 12 Pro or iPad Air 4 when they launch this week, Apple’s issued a press release Wednesday detailing the myriad ways would-be customers can give the company their hard-earned cash.

Change in Apple shipping means some customers receive orders faster

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Mail boxes
Apple has a new idea for speeding up the process of mailing out orders.
Photo: Ethan Hoover/Unsplash CC

Apple orders could potentially find their way into customers’ hands more rapidly, due to a shakeup in how Apple ships them out, Bloomberg reports.

According to the publication, Apple is beginning to use its retail store network as distribution centers for stock. Previously, it shipped out items from warehouses or even directly from China.

While this won’t mean faster shipping times for all customers, it could do if you live closer to one of Apple’s hundreds of retail stores.

Apple stops selling third-party headphones and smart speakers

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AirPods Studio will apparently look much like this.
Apple’s is prepping a pair of over-the-ear headphones, possibly as part of phasing out its Beats brand.
Render: Jon Prosser/cconceptcreator

Ahead of the expected launch of its over-the-ear headphones, dubbed AirPods Studio, and a possible new HomePod speaker, Apple has stopped selling headphones and wireless smart speakers made by rival firms such as Sonos, Bose and Logitech.

The rival manufacturers previously had their third-party products available on Apple’s Online Store. However, as Bloomberg reported Monday, they have now vanished. Employees at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores have also been removing the products from shelves.

Here’s the advice Steve Jobs gave the director of Pixar’s The Incredibles

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Incredibles image
The superhero who saved Apple had some advice for selling superheroes to the public.
Photo: Walt Disney/Pixar

Apple and Pixar CEO Steve Jobs had some advice for director Brad Bird when he was making decisions about merchandise on the 2004 movie The Incredibles: “fewer things, better things.”

Bird recalled the advice during a recent online chat with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua (who, incidentally, just had his last movie acquired by Apple). Bird also recalled speaking with Jobs about the Apple Store, around the time the company was busy opening the first ones.

Design-obsessed Apple crafts its own face mask [Updated]

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Apple-shield
This was Apple’s original face shield. It has a new model now.
Photo: Apple

Apple designed its own face mask because of course it did. A company long known for setting itself apart from the competition with superior design couldn’t use over-the-counter masks to protect employees and customers from COVID-19.

Instead, the team that ordinarily designs Macs and iPhones dreamed up their own face covering for Apple employees, including the people that work in Apple retail stores.

New Apple Marina Bay Sands store simply screams innovation

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Apple Store Singapore
Apple's most stunning retail store yet?
Photo: Apple

Opening this Thursday, Apple’s Marina Bay Sands retail store in Singapore is an absolute stunner. Resembling a lantern floating on the water (it’s not actually floating) or a Buckminster Fuller-style geodesic dome, the store may be my favorite Apple Store design yet.

In a year where most of Apple’s focus has been on reopening stores shuttered by coronavirus, it’s a reminder of just how brilliant Apple Store design has consistently been. Check out some of the photos of the new retail site.