June 24, 2012

Tonight, Apple Stores held quarterly meetings across the United States. These meetings rarely unveil anything of significance for consumers, and tonight’s meeting was close to no exception. According to several retail sources, tonight’s meetings focused on numbers and on past store results. However, a new employee training initiative was announced. Apple promised employees that more details will be revealed in the coming days, perhaps even starting tomorrow, but we have some tidbits:

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June 23, 2012

The New York Times has published a lengthy profile on Apple’s Retail operations, describing Apple retail employee pay in comparison to the company’s overall revenues from its retail chain. Controversially, Apple paints the average Apple retail worker as underpaid, comparing the average employee’s $25,000 per year salary against an average $473,000 per year made for Apple by each retail employee and Tim Cook’s large stock grants.

Although this is what the NYT seems to initially depict, they then backtrack and say that Apple pays above the average for retailers. In addition, Apple offers benefits to employees such as money towards college tuitions, gym memberships, a 401k plan, health care, major product discounts, and opportunities to buy stock at lower prices.

On top of this, as we reported, new Apple Senior Vice President of Retail has moved up the planned late September retail employee raises to late this month. Several employees have already been informed of their raises, with some employees seeing up to 30% more money. The report also notes some interesting Apple retail tidbits:

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Jeff Huber, senior vice president of commerce and local at Google, posted on Google+ last night that the Street View team built a Street View exhibit at the Computer History Museum. Cool.

Of more interest to Apple users: Huber took to the comments to answer some questions for an iOS user. He said Google looks forward to providing “Amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS.” That does not sound like a web app or anything like Google now offers in its Google Earth app or its Latitude app. With geo being such a big part of Google’s recent efforts, and iOS being such a big part of Mobile, it would be surprising to see Google just wave off the large iOS audience.

In a possibly related move, Google just dropped the prices of usage of its API for third-party apps—like Foursquare and Zillow— in the hopes to be used on more screens (there is going to be a lot of freed up bandwidth once iOS 6 is released!)

Prior to Apple unveiling its own Maps solution at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Google revealed that its new 3D maps were coming to iOS “in coming weeks,” which is another indication that Google plans to add to its iOS Maps experience.

Perhaps we will hear something at Google I/O next week (full coverage at 9to5Google.com).

Remember, competition is usually good for consumers!

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