Tim Cook visits Palo Alto Apple Store for iPhone 6 launch as Angela Ahrendts welcomes Sydney

Apple’s leadership is out in full force today for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch across the globe.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been spotted at the company’s local Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, to be a part of the crowd and watch the new iPhone debut. Cook reportedly joked with the crowd saying he got the new iPhone several months ago. As evident by Twitter, the Apple CEO has shared in the excitement by taking selfies with the crowd.

On the other side of the world, Apple’s recently appointed SVP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts helped kick off the new iPhones launch in Sydney, Australia, where the iPhone went on sale at 8 am local time several hours ago.

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Vogue editor delivers a fashion industry verdict on the Apple Watch [video]

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Lisa Armstrong, a contributing editor to Vogue and former Fashion Writer of the Year in the UK, has provided a fashion industry verdict on the Apple Watch – and if she speaks for the rest of the fashion world, Apple should be feeling pretty happy right now. Writing in the Telegraph, she said:

The Apple Watch [...] looks terrific, although most of us will deploy a fraction of its potential. Would I like one? Yes. I love watches, and I’m a sucker for a good looking gadget [...] [With the Apple Watch] the company is entering the style arena. It should be one hell of a show.

Apple always knew that the watch would need to succeed as a fashion accessory every bit as much as a gadget. The above image – from the Apple website – tells its own story… Read more

Former Apple SVP of Retail Ron Johnson talks Apple and Microsoft Stores, offers surprising praise for Surface 3

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Former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail (then ousted JCPenney CEO) Ron Johnson made a somewhat rare public-facing appearance on Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast. The discussion comes in at just under half an hour and features the former head of Apple Retail discussing his experience with leading the Apple Store as well as the challenge for up-and-coming startup brands to afford brick-and-mortar retail channels, but more interesting from an Apple perspective is Johnson’s praise for Microsoft’s retail stores and the Surface 3 tablet that the company heavily markets against Apple’s MacBook Air.

“I think the Microsoft stores have succeeded much more than popular opinion. [...] I think it’s really helped, for instance, the Surface 3. It’s a really great product and we all know that. Everyone who has tried a Surface 3 is pretty blown away with the software, the interaction, how it can be a tablet and a computer, its part of the future. Without those stores that Surface 3 wouldn’t be where it is today.”

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The eight reasons Morgan Stanley thinks it’s time to buy AAPL

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Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty is advising investors that now is the time to buy AAPL shares – and not just because the iPhone 6 is on the way.

Huberty gives eight reasons (via BusinessInsider) for believing that the price of AAPL stock is likely to increase. None of them are new, but the combined effect is persuasive, she argues …  Read more

Apple adds key Vice Presidents, more diversity to executive leadership page

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Apple today has expanded its Executive Leadership Team to include notable Apple Vice Presidents. The team shown on Apple’s official PR Bios website now includes Vice President of Special Projects Paul Deneve, Vice President of of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson, Vice President and Dean of Apple University Joel Podolny, Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, and Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources Denise Young Smith.

Interestingly, each of these positions is fairly new to Apple: Deneve joined from Yves Saint Laurent last year, Lisa Jackson moved over from the EPA last year, Joel Podolny went full-time on Apple University earlier this year, Young Smith was promoted to head of HR earlier this year, and Srouji became head of Hardware Technologies upon Bob Mansfield’s (second) role reduction last year

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New job listings indicate Apple’s aim to bolster retail marketing team

 

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Following the recent hire of a former Burberry and Nike social marketing executive to run Apple’s new social media arm, a few job listings on Apple’s website point to an attempt to bolster the company’s retail marketing team. A few of the positions were outlined by ifo Apple Store earlier today and seem to point toward an increased focus on building and maintaining customer loyalty to the Apple brand.

We’ve heard time and again that Apple customers, particularly iPhone users, are among the most loyal, but it seems Apple believes there’s still more to be done in that department. One of these new job listings calls for a “Program Manager — Loyalty, Global Retail Marketing,” which would focus on creating “learning and services strategies” designed to inspire loyalty among Apple’s user base.

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Paul Deneve brings YSL’s Europe President and Retail chief into the Apple fold

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Apple has just made another significant hire from the global fashion industry: Yves Saint Laurent’s Europe President and Retail Head Catherine Monier. Sources say that Monier left the Paris, France-based fashion icon earlier this summer and that she started at Apple within the last few weeks. The sources added that former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, who joined Apple last year to work on “Special Projects” under Apple CEO Tim Cook, was behind the hire and that Monier will work on Deneve’s team…

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Apple hires Angela Ahrendts’ confidant & former Nike exec to lead social media efforts

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Apple is giving its social media department a significant shot in the arm this week. The Cupertino-based company has hired Musa Tariq, the former social media chief for both Nike and Burberry. At Nike, Tariq ran general social media marketing as well as social media partnerships with athletes across all Nike product platforms, and at Burberry he led “strategy and innovation” for social media…

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Angela Ahrendts continues debut tour with employee Q&A, New York City Apple Store visits

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New Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is continuing her Apple debut tour this week. The former Burberry Chief Executive Officer today toured through Apple’s many stores in the New York City area and she also held a question-and-answer session with select Apple Retail Store managers earlier this week week. Ahrendts today sent a memo with a transcript of some of the Q&A points to all retail employees, and a full copy of that transcript, sent in by a source, is below:

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Apple Stores unify employee shirts as major customer service enhancements planned

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Apple is taking a small-step to unifying the attire of its U.S.-based Apple Store employees this upcoming week: the black shirts worn by Apple Store Business Team members for several years will be going into retirement, and all Apple Store employees will begin wearing the same, classic blue t-shirts as normally seen on the store sales floors. Is this a move from the handbook of Angela Ahrendts’ fashion background? Probably not. Sources say that the move happened in Europe a few months ago and the change-up is simply to unify the Apple Store teams as one. The business team will continue to exist in its current form (for now), so this is mostly just a visual change.

In other news, multiple sources also say that Apple is planning some significant operational changes within its stores to improve customer experience…

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Court approves European trademark on Apple Store design as 38th UK store set to open

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You’d probably recognize that you’d walked into an Apple Store even if both logo and products were covered: the signature wooden tables, glass frontage and glass staircase would give it away. Apple successfully trademarked its store designs in the U.S. last year, and a European Union court has today approved a similar trademark application in Europe …  Read more