Get a private tour of Apple’s new ‘floating’ Singapore store

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This "secret passage" is the perfect location for a selfie or two.
Screenshot: SuperAdrianMe TV/YouTube

The fantastic photographs of Apple Marina Bay Sands, the new “floating” Apple store in Singapore, just don’t do this magnificent structure justice.

From its massive glass dome to a “secret passage” with a stunning view, a virtual private tour posted by a YouTuber is the closest you’ll get to the real thing — at least for now. You’ve got to watch it! (And if you’re lucky enough to be in Singapore for opening day, be sure to check out the YouTuber’s pro tips for visitors.)

Apple asks UK landlords for rent cuts despite record earnings

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One of Apple's flagship retail stores in the UK.
Photo: Richard Shrum for Cult of Mac

Despite pulling in record earnings last quarter, Apple reportedly asked the landlords of its U.K. retail outlets to cut their rent by a massive 50%, The Sunday Times reports.

The newspaper says Apple is also asking for a “rent-free period” as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out. In return, the company says it will extend its leases for a lengthy period — although some of the stores in question have several years left on their lease agreements.

Apple retail stores launch one-on-one ‘Shop with a Specialist’ service

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TO deal with COVID-19, Apple Store offer ‘Shop with a Specialist’ service.
“Shop with a Specialist” puts you one-on-one with a salesperson at Apple Stores.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Schedule a visit to an Apple Store and you’ll have an expert standing by just to answer your questions. That’s the promise of the “Shop with a Specialist” program that launched Wednesday.

While this is a touch of luxury, it’s also a necessity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple is trying to keep its retail locations from being overcrowded. That apparently means limiting the number of customers to one per salesperson.

Apple plans in-store Mac trade-in program

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Done with your old Mac? Consider an Apple trade-in.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly will soon begin allowing customers to trade in their Macs at its retail stores. Shoppers will supposedly have the option to apply the money toward a new Mac or other device, or to a gift card.

Threatening bag of apples shuts down Apple Store in Oregon

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A protest at an Apple Store in Oregon turned out to be not dangerous.
Apple Bridgeport Village was shut down Wednesday because of a possible bomb.
Photo: Apple

A protester wrote a cryptic message on the window of the Apple Store in Tigard, Oregon, on Wednesday, and left a mysterious package. Police shut down the shopping center and sent in the bomb squad.

Fortunately, the bundle at the center of the furor turned out to be a non-dangerous bag of apples.

100 more US Apple Stores will open soon … sort of

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Apple plans to start the slow process of reopening its U.S. retail stores next week.
Apple plans to start the slow process of reopening its U.S. retail stores.
Photo: Open Grid Scheduler/Flickr CC

Apple said Tuesday it intends to open its retail locations in 21 U.S. states. But some stores will reportedly only offer curbside service, with customers not allowed to go in. The dates these Apple Stores would reopen were not announced.

Virtually all of Apple’s storefronts have been closed since March to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Apple Stores in Italy reportedly to commence reopening May 19 [Update]

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"Benvenuto" will soon be heard at some Apple Stores in Italy.
Photo: Apple

[Update 9:30 am, 05/14/2020: Since our original story ran, the one Apple Store in Italy reportedly planning to reopen next week has changed its hours back to fully closed. We will monitor the situation and report any more details, if warranted.]

Apple reportedly will reopen 10 of its 17 retail store locations in Italy beginning May 19.

As in other locations around the world that have reopened, security measures will be in place to protect customers and employees.

Apple starts gradual reopening of its US stores next week

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Apple Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall will reopen in mid-May.
This Apple Store in Anchorage, Alaska, will be one of the first to open its doors.
Photo: Apple

The long wait is almost over. Apple said Friday it will open the doors of a few of its U.S. retail locations next week. The majority of Apple Stores globally closed almost two months ago as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. More stores will reopen when the company deems it safe.