L.A. Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” over failed iPad project

la-unified-ipads

The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however …  Read more

No Apple Watches in store until June, Ahrendts tells staff as April 24th date removed from website

apple-watch-availability

Angela Ahrendts has told Apple Store staff that the Apple Watch is unlikely to be available for in-store purchases before June – but they should expect the usual ‘blockbuster launches’ in retail stores for future products.

In a memo to retail store staff, Apple’s retail head thanked staff for making the try-ons “unforgettable,” told them customer feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive” and that the online-only ordering period was likely to continue throughout May.

Many of you have been getting questions asking if we will have the watch available in stores on April 24 for walk-in purchases. As we announced last week, due to high global interest combined with our initial supply, we are only taking orders online right now. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to in-store availability, but we expect this to continue through the month of May.

Ahrendts said that the decision to do things this way had not been an easy one …  Read more

Chinese Apple Pay launch delayed by stalled bank negotiations, maybe UK too

apple-pay-china-uk

The launch of Apple Pay in China, originally expected to be part of iOS 8.3, has been delayed by stalled negotiations with both the state-owned card processor UnionPay and Chinese banks, reports MarketWatch. Developers had originally been told that iOS 8.3 would support UnionPay, but found that support was missing when the update rolled out last week.

A UnionPay employee who declined to be named said the company has not reached any agreements with the U.S. tech company, and no timetable for cooperation has been set […]

Those sources also say Apple has not made any breakthroughs in talks with Chinese banks, which would also have to agree for the Apple Pay system to work.

The banks are reportedly unhappy about the cut Apple takes from each transaction …  Read more

Opinion: I’ve seen the future of Apple’s online/offline retail experience, and it’s magic

watch-01

‘Seen’ is something of an exaggeration, but ‘had a small glimpse of’ would have made for a rather lengthy headline.

Despite the fact that I’d placed my Apple Watch order online within a few minutes of pre-orders opening, I also made a same-day appointment for a try-on. This was partly because I wanted to handle the watch right away: Apple PR does not smile on a website that consistently reports upcoming product information, so we are firmly crossed-off the list of invitees to launches. But it was also partly because I was curious how the watch would be presented by store staff.

But let me begin by backing up a step or two …  Read more

Polling data suggests the Sport made up 55-60% of all Apple Watch sales to date

apple-watch-sport

With estimated Apple Watch preorders getting close to a million, a number of polls suggest that the Sport made up between 55% and 60% of these. Our own poll, by far the largest of those featured in a Fortune roundup, put Sport sales at just under 56% based on 11,865 responses at the time.

A second poll of just over 5,000 responses showed a slightly higher number of 59%, while a pre-sale poll of purchase intentions put the number at 60%. Only one poll differed markedly from this range, but that was based on a much smaller number of respondents so is likely to be less reliable …  Read more

The Apple Watch Edition try on experience [1st hand account & Gallery]

IMG_0003

Reader Mark Davies went into the Berlin Apple Store this morning to try on the Apple Watch/Sport models but got a little surprise from the employees. Here’s the first hand account…

So I go to the Apple store here in Berlin thinking I made an appointment to see the Sport and Apple Watch editions. When I get there, they check me in and tell me to wait in the line. When my turn comes a really nice Apple employee asks me which models of the Edition I would like to see. I was surprised obviously, and explained that there is no way I would consider buying one with the price. He proceeds to let me try on the Sport and Watch versions and walks me through the demos. Then he asks if I still want to see the Edition models. I say, “sure, why not”…

Read more

You now have to wait almost a month to get a Gold (or fast) MacBook

new-macbook

While it was a case of ‘you snooze, you lose’ for the Apple Watch, almost all models selling out shortly after online sales opened, there’s better news if you’re in the market for the new 12-inch MacBook. At the time of writing, the standard model ships in just 1-3 days in either silver or space gray.

Opt for the gold model, however, and the shipping estimate jumps straight to a month. And it appears Apple isn’t expecting many buyers to care about the relatively weedy performance: the faster 1.3GHz processor model appears to be build-to-order only. Check the button for that and the site displays a message saying “this customized Mac takes a bit longer to build” and shipping slips to 3-4 weeks for even the silver model …  Read more

Apple’s easy finance initiatives in India pay off as local revenue breaks a billion dollars – report

india

Times of India is reporting that Apple is expected to have hit $1B in revenue in India in the financial year ended on 31st March – up 42% year-on-year, and a tripling of revenue over the past three years. India is one of the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) where Apple is expecting to see a large chunk of its future growth.

It had previously been reported that Apple sold half a million iPhones in the final calendar quarter of 2014, and Cybermedia Research estimates that it sold 1.3M phones in the full financial year. If true, “over $1B revenue is inevitable,” says the report …  Read more

Apple’s human interface chief on the obsessive details you’ll never notice in your Apple Watch

apple-watch-faces

There’s an oft-told story about Steve Jobs insisting the wiring inside the Macintosh be made to look neat even though few owners would ever see it. Apple’s human-interface chief Alan Dye, interviewed in Wired, says the same attention to detail lives on in Apple today, and is reflected in the care that went into the Apple Watch.

We have a group of people who are really, really super-talented, but they really care. They care about details that a designer might not show in his portfolio because it’s so arcane. And yet getting it right is so critical to the experience.

Dye illustrated the point by referring to the animated faces of the Apple Watch …  Read more

OS X 10.10.3 expected to hit today, new Photos app a winner – Associated Press

photos

An Associated Press review of the new Photos app for the Mac suggests that OS X 10.10.3 will be available for general download later today. The first pre-release seed of the latest version of Yosemite was made available to developers and testers back in February, with the first public beta following at the beginning of March.

Apple’s new Photos app for Mac computers, available Wednesday as a free software update, makes it easy to organize and edit your pictures.

AP’s Anick Jesdanun was impressed with Photos, Apple’s replacement for iPhoto and Aperture, saying that the auto-fix features were particularly impressive …  Read more

Angela Ahrendts to retail staff: Encourage customers to buy Apple Watch & MacBook online

apple-watch-macbook

Apple may be revamping its storefronts to promote the Apple Watch, but it won’t be encouraging you to buy one there. Retail head Angela Ahrendts has sent a memo to Apple Store staff asking them to suggest customers use the online store to order both the Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook. The memo reportedly reflects the fact that store inventory of both products will be very limited when the MacBook goes on sale on Friday and the Apple Watch follows two weeks later.

Ahrendts’ two-paragraph memo aims to put a positive spin on the fact that many customers are likely to be disappointed when trying to purchase the new products, suggesting that pointing them to online purchase will “make their day” …  Read more