Retail section of Apple.com updated with new design inspired by iOS 7

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Apple quietly updated the retail section of its website today with a new look that more closely resembles iOS 7. Where the previous version of these pages used content boxes, borders, textured backgrounds, and gradients, the new page instead utilizes ample whitespace and thinner typefaces.

The change is probably best illustrated on the section’s home page, where images previously constrained by content boxes now fill the entire page. On the “Learn” page, buttons with heavy gradients have been replaced by thinly-outlined, lighter versions of the previous design. Gradient-filled headers have disappeared from every page, now replaced by unadorned text.

Oddly, the “Make a Reservation” button that allowed users to quickly create a Genius Bar appointment has been removed from the site’s navigation. Appointments can only be made by navigating to the Genius Bar page and clicking a link in the first paragraph of that page’s content. The Concierge page has not been updated to the new design yet.

You’ll find a bunch of before-and-after comparisons and take our poll on the new design below:

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iPhone and iPad stock tracker site pulled after Apple issues takedown notice

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The handy Apple Tracker site that allowed people to check Apple Store availability for new products has closed its doors after receiving a DMCA takedown notice from Apple.

I’ve decided to turn off the site. I’m not doing this because I want to, but rather because I received a DMCA takedown notice (you can see the full text below) from Apple. I’m not really interested in picking a fight with apple so … I guess it time to just say good bye …  Read more

Apple finally finds new Head of Retail: Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. Will begin in Spring 2014, run Online Stores too

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Apple today announced that it has finally filled the role of Senior Vice President of Retail: the Cupertino tech giant has hired Angela Ahrendts. Ahrendts is leaving her role as CEO of fashion retailer Burberry to take the top Apple retail job. Ahrendts will also lead Apple’s online stores. She will officially begin her role in Spring 2014.

You may recall Apple replaced its original Head of Retail Ron Johnson, who left for JCPenney but has since been removed from that role, with John Browett, but Browett proved not to be a good fit and was removed almost a year ago to date.

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Apple updates homepage in China to recognize earthquake, offers donations and support

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Apple has updated its official China website homepage to offer its respect and sympathy following the disastrous earthquake that has affected the country over the past few days.

The acknowledgement present on Apple’s site reads as follows:

Our deepest condolences to those who were taken away by the Sichuan Yaan earthquake, and respect to all the rescuers. May those who have passed away rest in peace, and may the survivors stay strong.

The company has also offered a statement that pledges cash donations and new Apple devices to help schools that have been affected:

In this difficult time our hearts are with the Sichuan earthquake victims. In addition to cash donations to help the victims ride out the storm, we will also commit to donating brand new Apple equipment to some of the schools in the affected region, and the local Apple staff will be on standby to provide support.

Apple has reportedly pledged 50 million Yuan in total. (Thanks to Richard Lai from Engadget for the translations.)
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Apple job listing confirms Apple is investigating using flexible displays in future products

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Update: Apple appears to have removed the job listing, but we grabbed a screenshot above and below.

Apple-job-listing-flexible-displays-01We know that Apple has been investigating various methods of incorporating flexible displays in its mobile devices thanks to a handful of patents and patent applications published over the last year. Flexible display rumors have picked up steam even more since rumors of an iWatch from Apple, and just today we came across two new Apple patent applications detailing flexible devices that could change states as a user bends or twists the device. We all know Apple patent applications have never been a good indication of future product releases, but now Apple has came right out and stated in a job listing that it is indeed considering flexible displays.

Apple Inc. is looking for a Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display to improve overall display optical performance.

The job listing seeking a Sr. Optical Engineer was posted earlier this month and looks for a display expert to investigate “high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display.” Specifically, Apple is requesting someone to “Analyze the trade-offs between design, process, optical performance, and implementation feasibility,” hinting that the company is considering introducing new, advanced display technology in the future: Read more

Apple introduces iMac with built-in VESA wall mount adapter for additional $40

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When Apple first introduced its new iMacs that began shipping to customers in November and December of last year, it confirmed the new models would not include support for VESA mounts like earlier models. Users of previous generation iMacs were able to buy and install a mount using the Video Electronics Standards Association standard to attach the product to a wall or other surface. It looks like Apple has now finally come up with a solution for the new super-slim iMacs by offering a $40 built-to-order option that will replace the iMac’s stand with a built-in VESA mount adapter.

The iMac with Built-in VESA Mount Adapter is ready to pair with your favorite VESA-compatible wall mount, desk mount, or articulating arm(sold separately). This iMac doesn’t include a stand, so a mount is required. If you don’t already have a mount, you can purchase one when you configure your iMac.

iFun pointed us to the listing on Apple.com where Apple now lets you select all four models of the new iMac with the built-in mount. The option will run users an extra $40 on top of the regular iMac pricing, making the entry-level 21.5-inch model start at $1,339.

Apple noted that it isn’t including its traditional iMac stand with these models, and users will have to purchase a desk or wall mount separately.

The VESA iMacs are now shipping in 7 to 10 days in the U.S. (compared to ‘within 24 hours’ for the other models) and seem to be available on Apple Stores worldwide wherever iMacs are currently sold.

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