Apple is in the process of winding down Beats Electronics’ outsourced phone support ties and moving technical support completely in-house via AppleCare, according to sources. Beats Electronics phone support is currently split between Apple and Sitel, a customer support outsourcing firm, and Apple is aiming to completely end that relationship as soon as March. Apple cut several Beats jobs in July following the acquisition. Sitel employees have confirmed that they will be moved to new technical support positions for other companies, and AppleCare employees similarly confirmed that Beats support will soon be handled completely internally. Apple acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music in May 2014 for $3 billion, and sales transitioned to the Apple Online Store in August. Apple Store Genius Bars began servicing Beats products late last year.
Apple has recently added the 27-inch iMac with Retina display, originally released in October 2014, to the refurbished section of its online store. Currently, the baseline 5K iMac with a 3.5 GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB Fusion Drive, and an AMD Radeon R9 graphics processor will cost you $2,119 refurbished from Apple. That’s $380 – or 15%- off the price of a new model.
Apple has updated its online store to start accepting PayPal as a payment method in both the United States and United Kingdom. PayPal was already an option for those who shopped through the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore, but this is the first time the company has offered it through the Apple Online Store.
For Black Friday, Apple has refreshed the frontpage of its online store with a rather-drastic redesign. Each product category now dominates the webpage, with full-bleed images of their main product lines. The new iPad updates get the top spot, but interestingly Apple TV and Beats headphones also get prime placement. In fact, the product images for Beats accessories are so large, it only takes four images to dominate the screen.
The strap-line ‘From one gift come many’ headlines the page, which also links up with Apple’s upcoming retail store holiday changes. The same tagline will soon be featured in Apple Store windows around the world, highlighting the wide scope of the iPhone and iPad, as shown below.
Update: Fitbit statement below the fold…
If you’re in the market for a Fitbit device and you’re shopping at the Apple Store, you’ll probably have to shop elsewhere to purchase the fitness tracker. Following report from Re/Code last month that Apple planned to drop the Fitbit line of wearable devices from its Apple Store lineup, Apple has today removed the Fitbit Flex and other Fitbit products from its online store following low inventory over the past week. While its unclear why Apple is no longer selling Fitbit products through its retail channels, on the surface the move is similar to Apple’s decision to discontinue selling Bose headphones and speakers at its retail and online stores.
It was reported last week that Apple would soon stop selling Bose headphones and speakers at its Apple Store locations. Previously, a variety of Bose headphones and speakers were demoed at each Apple Store location and available for purchase there and online. All Bose speakers and headphones have since been completely removed from sale through the Apple Online Store and several Apple Retail Store locations we’ve contacted have confirmed Bose inventory is no longer available.
Update: Apple has confirmed the promo, and according to the T&C online orders are also eligible.
According to our sources, Apple retail employees were informed this morning that beginning today, anyone who purchases an Apple TV from Apple will receive a free $25 iTunes gift card.
As of right now this promotion seems to only be available at brick and mortar locations, but we will update this post if it pops up at the Apple online store. The promotion is scheduled to end on March 5th. iTunes gift cards can be used to download movies, music, apps, and more.
Here’s what we know so far about the incoming next-generation Apple TV hardware:
Due to “limited supply” and “high demand,” the new iPad mini with Retina display will be available at Apple Stores exclusively through the Personal Pickup service for the time-being. Personal Pickup allows a customer to purchase a Retina iPad mini via the Apple Online Store, then pick it up at an Apple Retail location of their choosing. This also means that a customer who wants a Retina iPad mini cannot simply walk-in to an Apple Store and buy one (yet). It’s likely that Apple will allow walk-in purchases when demand meets supply. Apple notified its retail employees of the current sales exclusivity to Personal Pickup customers, and Apple’s own retail website seems to imply similar…
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.
Apple just updated its website following the iPad mini media event with some new videos for the device as well as specs and updated product pages for the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and other products. You can also now view a video of the keynote speech via a link from the Apple.com homepage.
Apple also put its store back online with many of the new products it just unveiled, and it appears to have tweaked its online store with a slightly new design. Read more