Apple Stores launch in-store iPad trade-in program on Earth Day

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In its continued full-court Earth Day press, Apple is expanding its Reuse & Recycling program to help responsibly recycle more devices and get current generation devices into the hands of more customers.

As of this morning, the iPad is now eligible for the in-store Reuse & Recycling program at Apple Retail Store locations that allows customers to receive credit for their aging Apple devices. In the past, customers could only receive trade-in credit for iPhones. Also new, Apple will now allow iPhone or iPad trade-in credit to be used on cross products. That means you can trade-in an eligible iPhone and use that credit towards the purchase of a new iPad. Previously, iPhone trade-in credit could only be used to buy a new iPhone.

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Apple Stores discounting Apple TV w/ $25 iTunes card ahead of new hardware rumored for spring

 

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:
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SF planning commission votes to accept Union Square Apple Store called “more iconic than the glass cube in NYC”

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The San Francisco city planning commission voted today in favor of accepting the new Apple Store in Union Square, which an Apple spokesman said would be “a flagship” store that would become “more iconic than the glass cube in New York City.”

The changes announced today include moving the historic fountain outside the new location to center it in the resized plaza. According to Apple’s architect, the fountain will be moved in one piece rather than disassembled and rebuilt a few feet away from its current position. Apple’s previous plan to relocate the fountain was not satisfactory to the city’s historic preservation committee, but the new plan was accepted this week.

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Apple’s new head of retail Angela Ahrendts is Fortune’s #4 Businessperson of the Year

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Fortune is out today with its annual Businessperson of the Year list and this time around a couple notable Apple connections have made the list. Coming in at #4 behind #1Elon Musk, activist investors, and Tencent CEO ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng, is Apple’s recently hired Head of Retail, Burberry CEO Angela AhrendtsRead more

Apple iPad event spray paint spills over to this year’s holiday gift cards

apple-itunes-gift-card-9to5macMost of the attention on Apple’s retail overnight from this week was focused on the new window display, but there was another slight change that is also worth taking a look at. Apple has changed the design of its iTunes cards to closely resemble the spray pant styling from past iPad event invitations.

These updated iTunes gift cards are available in your local Apple store as of yesterday, just in time for the holidays. The changes have also been reflected on the iTunes gift page.

Speaking of iTunes, Apple’s present for retail employees this year was the opportunity to purchase a $50 card for $40. You can score this same deal right now over at 9to5Toys and can expect even more discounts as we progress towards Black Friday.

Tim Cook urges employees to refresh themselves on Apple’s code of conduct in video message

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Apple executives have reached out to employees today in a company wide email urging them to review Apple’s Business Conduct Policy, a document describing how employees should conduct themselves in and outside the company while representing Apple. An email from Apple’s SVP and General Counsel Bruce Sewell (below) was accompanied by a new version of the policy available to employees in iBooks format and a video from CEO Tim Cook discussing the policy.

It’s unclear if there was a situation at Apple that could have prompted the email and video from Apple executives to employees. Apple notes that the policy “explains in very clear terms how you are expected to conduct yourself with our customers, business partners, government agencies, and fellow employees.” The document also covers legal principles  “like antitrust and anti-corruption laws” that all employees are expected to follow.

In the video, Tim Cook quotes Martin Luther King Jr saying “The time is always right to do what is right” and urges employees to speak up about other employees not following the code of conduct. Cook’s full quote from the video below:

As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, the time is always right to do what’s right. At Apple, we do the right thing. Even when it’s not easy. If you see something that doesn’t meet our standards, speak up. Whether it’s a quality issue or a business practice, if it affects Apple’s integrity, we need to know about it. Read more

Apple Store visits continue to climb, though growth flattening

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Asymco’s Horace Dediu has put together a couple of charts showing that while the number of visitors to Apple’s retail stores continues to climb, the rate of growth is flattening off.

The underlying reason appears to be a slow-down in the rate at which Apple is opening new stores, as the average number of visitors per store has remained stable for the past three years …  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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Flurry of new Apple Stores on the way in Japan, France, China, Brazil & Italy

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Tokyo skyline: vacationadvice101.com

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is planning its first new store in Tokyo since 2005.

Apple plans to open a store in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as March, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by February, the person said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak for Apple.

Tokyo is noted for its high land values. Bloomberg estimating the cost of the land at around $164M with the finished store expected to be worth a staggering $256M …  Read more

Apple building a new flagship store in Palo Alto – close by the Microsoft one

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ifoAppleStore (via TechCrunch) reports that Apple is building a new “big, visually stunning” flagship store in Palo Alto – in the Stanford shopping center, close to the store Microsoft opened last year.

This store design was completed in 2011 by Apple’s long-time architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. It was approved by Steve Jobs about six months before Tim Cook assumed the position of CEO in August of that year. It took another year to refine the design and obtain building approvals. Demolition on the former building began late last year.

If you’re keen to get a preview of what Apple has planned for its retail stores, Palo Alto is reputedly the place to be …  Read more

Apple Retail scheduled to launch Personal Pickup for iPhone 5 tonight (Update: Confirmed by Apple)

If you missed purchasing an iPhone 5 this weekend, we might have some good news for you. We are hearing Apple expects to launch its in-store product reservation system, Personal Pickup, for iPhone 5 tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern. Customers can use the Apple Store app or website between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. nightly to pre-purchase available iPhone 5 inventory for the next day. Because customers are actually purchasing the iPhone, they will have upwards of two weeks to pick up the phone (when it becomes available).

This certainly seems to be the best way to get your hands on Apple’s newest phone as ship times at Apple.com are still delayed “3-4 weeks”. Demand has been extremely high for this phone, so we recommend logging on to the reservation system as it becomes available.

Update:  It appears Apple’s iPhone 5 Personal Pickup page has been updated ahead of the 10 p.m. launch.  It reaffirms the reservation process which we outlined early this afternoon.  All pre-purchased iPhone 5 units will be available for in-store pickup the next business day and any units not pre-purchased will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Apple’s Black Friday Retail Store Sales were “off the charts”


We obviously had to white out numbers above – From Apple’s Retail inventory system.

A source inside Apple Retail has shared with us the numbers for Apple’s Black Friday sales event.  Black Friday is always huge shopping day and Apple forecasted at least 4X sales for the day.  However, because Apple did have the lowest prices on big ticket items like the iPad, it blew away forecasts by 7PM and unsurprisingly had its biggest sales day of all time..

Apple Retail was forecast and broke Retail sales records all over the country today, this is from [redacted] today, the forecast today is more than 4 times what we normally do. We broke the forecast by 7pm.

MacBook Air sales were also particularly strong according to our source.

Apple Store discounts are extremely rare and with more Stores open than ever before, the temptation was too much for many. Read more