Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store

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Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Photo: Apple

May 15: Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store, with plans to open 25 Apple Stores in the U.S. May 15, 2001: Steve Jobs flips the script on the dreadful experience of computer shopping, unveiling an ambitious plan to open 25 innovative Apple stores across the United States.

The first two Apple stores, located at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, are set to open later that week. But this new Apple initiative is about much more than just a couple of retail outlets. It’s a radical reinvention of tech retail that will change the way computers get sold.

Apple will finally repair iPhones with unofficial batteries

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iPhone batteries
Battery brand no longer complicates an iPhone repair job.
Photo: iFixIt

An iPhone powered with a third-party battery can get repaired at all Apple Store Genius Bars, according to a directive issued by Apple.

This is a surprising reverse course for Apple, which strictly forbade Genius Bars and authorized service providers from fixing iPhones with off-brand batteries.

iOS 11.3 breaks some iPhone 7 microphones

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iPhone-7
How’s your iPhone 7 mic after updating to iOS 11.3?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s recent software updates have broken some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus microphones.

Users report that they cannot be heard during calls since updating to iOS 11.3 or later. Apple has advised Authortized Service Providers that they can initiate repairs if necessary — even on devices that are no longer covered by a warranty.

Apple considers rebates for old iPhone battery replacement purchases

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iphone battery
Apple's battery replacement might be bad for upgrade rates.
Photo: iFixit

Customers who purchased an iPhone battery replacement before the price was lowered to $29 might be in for a rebate from Apple.

In a letter sent today to U.S. Senator John Thune, the iPhone-maker revealed that it is exploring the possibility of offering rebates, but it’s unclear when that will happen.

iPhone X owners hit by ‘Green Line of Death’

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iPhone X
Should we call it GreenGate?
Photo: Nate Heagy/Twitter

Apple may have a bit of a screen problem with the iPhone X.

It wouldn’t be an iPhone launch without some sort of “Gate” plaguing devices. Even though iPhone X has only been out for a week, it looks like the “Green Line of Death” is set to be this year’s overblown disaster.

iPhone X repair prices will make your wallet cry

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The iPhone X is water-resistant. Just don't drop it. iPhone X repair costs might drown you in debt.
The iPhone X is water-resistant. Just don't drop it.
Image: Apple

If you are among the millions of Apple fans that just preordered the new iPhone X, here’s one piece of advice: Whatever you do, don’t break it.

Apple updated its webpage for the pricing on out-of-warranty repairs, and the iPhone X shatters the record when it comes to screen repairs and other damage.

Tekserve’s Apple artifacts wind up in Ukrainian museum

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MacPaw Apple museum

Photo: MacPaw

When legendary Mac repair shop Tekserve closed its doors last summer in New York City, Apple fans of a certain age experienced two deaths.

They bade goodbye to the original Genius Bar, technicians that had been servicing their devices for nearly 30 years. Those fans would also never again stare at Tekserve’s impressive Apple computer artifact collection, which was quickly auctioned off to an unknown bidder for $47,000.

The collection returned to a museum display today, more than 4,600 miles away in the Ukraine. Its new home is at the headquarters of software developer MacPaw.

Apple extends service for buggy Smart Keyboards

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You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
Photo: Apple

Apple says it will service “functional issues” on Smart Keyboards for the iPad Pro for up to three years, according to internal memos sent to Apple stores and service providers recently.

The company, in the memo sent last week, acknowledged that some Smart Keyboard owners experienced stuck or unresponsive keys as well as non-working Smart Connectors. Apple says it will fix any qualifying keyboards free of charge within three years of the date of purchase. The company will also give a refund to any customer who already paid for service on a Smart Keyboard.