Apple Retail

Rumor: Apple Store Genius Bars replacing Mac Book Pros with iPads

9to5Mac's Marc Gurman is reporting that Apple Store Genius Bars might just be swapping out their Mac Book Pros for iPads.

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Apple to enable self-service checkout at retail via Apple Store app?

MacRumors and Heylookitsseric are both claiming Apple will be updating their Apple Store app to allow customers self-service checkout for off-the-shelf items like iPhone and iPad cases at Apple Retail.

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iPhone 4S launches in 22 additional countries today

Apple is set to launch the iPhone 4S in 22 additional countries today, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Reminder: Apple Retail Stores closed for the next 3 hours

As previously announced, Apple Retail Stores will be closed today so employees can share in Apple's internal celebration of their co-founder, Steve Jobs' life. They'll be closed for 9am to 12pm PDT, 12pm to 3pm EDT.

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Advantages of Apple Business for retail customers

On Monday morning I picked up several shiny new iPhone 4S handsets that my Apple Business rep had set aside for me earlier in the week. I knew I would be traveling over the launch weekend and I needed quite a few phones, and my Apple Business rep couldn't have been more helpful in arranging everything.

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Apple raising the bar on Apple Store design. Again.

There have been some fantastic Apple Store designs already, everything from the glass cube in New York to the glass cylinder in Shanghai, but some recent designs for a massive glass roof in Santa Monica, a redesign of the glass cube on 5th Ave., and a spectacular design for Grand Central Station -- not to mention the enormous new Mothership in Cupertino -- show that Apple's ready to take things to another level.

Apple already makes some of the best phone, tablet, and computer hardware in the word -- precision crafted aluminum and glass. Do they really have to push the envelope in architecture and retail design as well? No, but they want to. They could spend less on the stores. They could do less. But they consider it an investment. They believe it matters. That's what makes Apple, Apple. They're dragging us, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the future.

Now if I could just get them to build one of those giant glass tower Flasgships in Montreal's Old Port. Where would you want one?

Check out the pictures after the break.

[Curbed via Macrumors, Gothamist via MacStories, The Real Deal via MacRumors]

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Apple Store opens in BlackBerry hometown of Waterloo

Apple opened a handful of new Apple Stores today, none more amusingly placed than the one in Waterloo, Ontario, the hometown of BlackBerry maker RIM. Starting today, anyone in Waterloo who wants an iPhone rather than Bold, iPad rather than PlayBook can just wander on over. And according to @Steve_Gamble, they seem to be doing just that:

At the new Apple Store in Waterloo today. The number of Blackberries going dark is astounding!

Anyone else attending the opening of Apple in Waterloo? Any CrackBerry protests going? Let us know!

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Ron Johnson, head of Apple Retail, leaves to become CEO of JC Penny

Ron Johnson, the man who helped Apple revolutionize retail with the Apple Stores, is leaving to take over the CEO spot at JC Penny. Apple has issued the following statement to All Things D:

“Ron is excited about this opportunity and we hope it goes well for him,” a spokesperson said. “We’ve got a great retail team in place and are actively recruiting for his replacement.”

And JC Penny states that Johnson isn't just taking over, he's taking on a large investment as well:

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German vandals deface new flagship Hamburg Apple Store with a Windows logo

A couple of cheeky German guys decided to have a bit of fun this weekend by defacing the under construction Apple Store in Hamburg with a Windows logo.

Now before we get too upset by this, when we say deface it, it was more a bit of fun with no permanent lasting damage. Posing as a couple of construction workers, they climbed a ladder and pieced together a poor attempt at a Windows Logo.

In fact if you wanted to be really mean, you could say that this is an excellent deterrent to any would-be thieves! Take a look at the video after the break!

[9to5Mac]

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Apple Store 2.0 is here, iPad take-over begins! [Updated with video]

Australia, being in the future, has just seen the debut of Apple Store 2.0, the recently rumored reboot that adds interactive iPads, among other things, to the retail experience. Talk about putting your tech where your money is.

Want to learn more about that MacBook Pro or iMac? Hit up the iPad next to it for feature specs, comparisons, explanations for those new to Apple, technical support, or summon an Apple specialist for additional help at the touch of a button. (I'm figuring the staff disables that little prank-in-the-waiting by end of business day 1).

As the rising sun hits more and more regions, we're hoping to learn more about the new Apple Retail, so if you spot anything at your local store, let us know!

My only question - do the iPads have interactive iPads to explain what you can do with the iPads, on iPads?

Update: Apparently, the iPads are encased in Carbonite tough, clear plastic.

Update 2: Video, see above.

Update 3: Apple sent a note along to employees, read it after the break. [9to5Mac]

Update 4: Just got back from checking out the new store displays. The app powering the iPads is very slick, with great animated popups (Pixar would be proud) that allow for very clean initial info pages with lots of additional details (like pricing) that can be access with a tap. Apparently Apple has more planned for this app as well, and being able to update both the app, as well as prices, specs, etc. without having to reprint paper every time is no doubt one of the motivators for this new system.

The plastic encasings are perfectly fit and pretty much weld the iPads to the table so you can't move them around. There's a proprietary connector (not the usual dock cable) powering the iPads. It's almost impossible to see. the Home buttons are disabled so you can't exit out of the display app.

There are also beautifully crafted new product identifiers in the center of the tables for iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc. Typically Apple, they're understated, elegant, and do just what they need to do without being fussy about it. (Jonathan Ive's insistence on design getting out of the way, no doubt.) Photos after the break.

[9to5Mac video courtesy of Glasshouse Apps]

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