Apple Retail

Apple relaxes 3-device limitation for employee friends and family purchases

Whether you take this as a sign that Apple inventory levels are now in better balance, or simply that Apple is feeling a little more generous with their employees, it looks like the previous 3-device limit on friends and family purchases has been relaxed. Now, before you start looking for pop-up sales next to your local lemonade stand, reasonable limits on EPP 15% discount program purchases are still in place. What's reasonable? According to people at Apple who noticed the policy change:

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Jerry McDougal, vice president of retail, retires from Apple

Apple's vice president of retail, Jerry McDougal, has left the company in order to spend more time with his family. McDougal previously reported to Ron Johnson, before Johnson left for JC Penny, and most recently, John Browett, before Browett was let go from the position.

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Apple starts selling the iPhone 5 unlocked online in the U.S., at retail in Canada

As of today you can walk into an Apple Retail store in Canada and walk out with an unlocked iPhone 5. That's something that was only possible via Apple Online orders until now, likely to prevent the type of scalping activity -- the same people lining up everyday to buy unlocked iPhones only to resell them overseas -- that caused problems with previous Canadian launches. Not to be left totally behind, the U.S. has also started selling the iPhone 5 unlocked, but only via Apple Online.

So, if you still haven't gotten your iPhone, and you want to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with an unlocked one, and you live in Canada, today's your lucky day.

Go get it.

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Apple retail employees reportedly taking to the streets to help fix iOS 6 Maps

Apple may be turning to its retail employees to improve its new Maps app for iOS 6. Retail store employees are being asked to, on a volunteer basis, examine the mapping data for their area and submit corrections and improvements to Apple. Stores participating in the initiative will give 40 hours of staff time per week, which will be distributed across several employees.

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US Apple Retail Stores reportedly set to launch personal pickup for iPhone 5 starting tonight at 10pm

If you still haven't managed to secure an iPhone 5 for yourself or someone close to you, the online orders feel like they'll take forever, and the lineups are completely unappealing, good news -- it sounds like US Apple Retail Stores are preparing to start offering personal pickup.

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Unlocked iPhone 5 will not be available at Apple Retail Canada, online only

There's been a lot of confusion over the last 48 hours as to whether or not Apple would be selling the iPhone 5 unlocked at Apple Retail Canada. For the last few years Apple has sold new iPhones unlocked at Apple Retail on launch day, but that time is over. As part of new, anti-scalping measure, if you want an unlocked iPhone in Canada this year, you'll have to order online.

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iPhone 5 to go on sale at 8 am local time at Apple Retail on September 21, unlocked starting at C$699

If you're not pre-ordering your iPhone 5 but instead want to engage in the age-old (since 2007 anyway) tradition of lining up outside your local Apple Retail Store, and enjoy all the pomp and circumstance (and screaming Apple Geniuses) that go with it, good news -- According to Apple.com those stores will open at 8am local time on launch day, September 21.

The Canadian Apple Online Store also lists the factory unlocked price starting at $699 for 16GB. (Which probably means $799 for 32GB and $899 for 64GB... Yeah.)

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Apple SVP of retail, John Browett, addresses Apple Stores, stresses people and service

Apple's new senior vice president of retail, John Browett, gave his quarterly address to Apple Store employees last night. While normally routine and not exactly newsy, it follows a series of staffing and PR gaffs that have raised concerns about Browett's role and Apple's devotion to its experience-over-profit model. Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac scored a recording of the address.

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Recent Apple Retail screw-ups rumored not to be solved, emblematic of larger, post-Jobs problem

While new Apple Retail head John Browett reportedly apologized and reversed recent staffing decisions that threatened the phenomenal experience of Apple Stores, it's now being rumored that the apologies weren't exactly sincere, weren't actually given to the staff, and may reflect a new, more profit-oriented, less customer-centric, direction instigated by Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

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Apple apologizes for retail store staffing screw-ups

Apple has apologized for recent Apple Store staffing screw-ups that saw one of the most laudable retail operations in the world cut and confuse staff and threaten a reputation that, until now, has been second-to-none. Stories about the cuts and confusion in Apple Retail began to spread last week, and while Apple is denying reports about layoffs, they are admitting to the incredibly poor judgement when it comes to Apple Retail staffing general:

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