PSA: Apple Watch’s sapphire display cracks just like iPhone screens

Apple Watch screen cracked

Yep, that’s a cracked Apple Watch display. Nope, it’s not actually an Edition, just plated, but the $549 and up steel model uses the same sapphire display as Apple’s $10,000 and up watch. And yes, the Apple Watch’s sapphire display reacts to accidental drops against hard surfaces just like iPhones.

In describing the craftsmanship of the Apple Watch, Apple calls sapphire “the second-hardest transparent substance after diamond,” adding that “that’s why we chose it to cover the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition faces,” but it still sells a $79 AppleCare+ warranty to cover accidental damage because sapphire is clearly not invincible.

Here’s what to expect if you accidentally break your Apple Watch display and what I learned about how easily it can happen… Read more

Apple Watch release date for New Zealand scheduled for July 31st

Apple-Watch-New-Zealand

After its initial launch in nine countries in April, followed by seven more late last month and a handful of other countries launching later this week, Apple Watch will arrive for customers in New Zealand for the first time on July 31st. Apple has quietly made the announcement on an updated product page within its Apple Store iOS app, as pictured above. Read more

Apple announces that its first Apple Store in Queens, New York opens this Saturday

apple-store-queens

Apple has announced on its website that its first retail store in Queens will open on Saturday 11th July at 1oam. We exclusively revealed that the store was on the way back in February, with the first construction shots seen later the same month and signage appearing in May.

The new store is located on the second floor of the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst and will be one of the largest of the eight Apple Stores in New York …  Read more

All Apple Stores revamping third-party accessory selection with Apple designed boxes

9to51Apple-designed packaging for the Mophie Juice Pack and Logitech iPad Keyboard

Apple is looking to own yet another aspect of its product experience. The company is gearing up to revamp its third-party accessory selection across all of its retail stores by next week by reducing the amount of accessories available in stores to ones sold in packaging co-designed by Apple. Apple has been working with select third-party accessory makers over the past six months to redesign boxes so that the experience more closely matches the boxes of Apple’s own products…

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Apple Pay expected to go live in the U.K. on July 14th, £20+ transactions starting this fall

Screenshot 2015-07-04 12.39.46

Apple appears to be planning to enable its Apple Pay iPhone mobile payments service in the United Kingdom on July 14th, according to sources at multiple retailers. Apple has informed some Apple Retail employees in the U.K. that Apple Pay support will go live on that Tuesday, while an internal memos for supermarket Waitrose plus an additional retail partner indicate the same date…

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Apple Stores to begin selling select Apple Watches as soon as this week with surprise collectible bags

Some Apple Watch models shipping as soon as 1-3 days ahead of Apple Store availability

Some Apple Watch models shipping as soon as 1-3 days ahead of Apple Store availability

Apple said at the beginning of the month that it would fulfill all May Apple Watch orders with the exception of Space Black Link Bracelets by the middle of the month, then begin selling some models in retail stores for the first time. We’re hearing now that some Apple Retail Stores are preparing to begin limited in-store sales as soon as this week ahead of the Apple Watch’s expansion into seven more countries next Friday, and there will be a small perk for those who’ve waited… Read more

Apple SVP Retail/Online Angela Ahrendts opens stunning Upper East Side Apple Store [Gallery]

As previously reported, the Upper East Side New York Apple Store opened today and Apple’s head of retail was on hand for the occasion.  Angela Ahrendts tweeted from the event (above) and took photos with visitors (below). The store is at  940 Madison Avenue on the corner of 74th St, a block from Central Park.

apple-store-ues

We noted previously that the almost 100-year old building that Apple restored used to be a bank which included a vault that Apple turned into a VIP room for Apple Watch Edition try ons. The VIP space includes a large TV/Display, couches and other niceties (more images below).

The bank vault room.

A photo posted by Patrick Sleem (@patrick1ny) on

In addition, the decor and showcasing is unique to this location with a new kind of recessed showcase, large chandeliers and black and white artwork.

The new store will help alleviate some of the traffic that the Fifth Avenue Store loses while it relocates to the smaller FAO Schwarz location for upgrades. Not everyone is happy with the store opening. Local residents have complained that it will bring throngs of shoppers to this somewhat quiet (by Manhattan standards) upscale neighborhood. Apple has promised to open later and close earlier than other nearby stores in order to appease the neighbors.

Many more images below: Read more

Apple’s Upper East Side retail store is built over a 1920s reinforced bank vault

When Apple opens its new Upper East Side Apple Store on Saturday, visitors will have the opportunity to view historical architecture in addition to shopping for iPhones and Apple Watches. That’s because the new retail store located on 940 Madison Avenue was once the home of the U.S. Mortgage & Trust bank — there’s even a bank vault below the store — and Apple has restored much of the original design for its new showroom… Read more

Tim Cook responded to Apple Store staff complaints about bag check policy, asking execs “Is this true?”

retail-staff

Papers from a failed class action suit by Apple Store staff reveal that at least two retail employees complained directly to CEO Tim Cook about the policy of subjecting them to anti-theft bag checks before they left the store. Tim Cook forwarded the complaints to senior retail and HR executives, asking “Is this true?” …  Read more

Apple expands same-day courier options to online store orders

Apple Online Store

Apple has updated its online store with a quicker, same-day delivery option on select items ordered in certain zip codes. The new “courier delivery” option, which promises to deliver “on the same day, within four hours”, has been added today as an additional supported faster delivery method for items bought on Apple’s online store. Apple previously only offered guaranteed shipping services with additional fees that promised next day shipping or next day shipping before noon. Read more

Jawbone says its fitness bands are returning to Apple Stores shortly, after earlier removal

jawbone

Apple removed most Jawbone and Nike fitness bands from its retail stores back in March, during the run-up to the launch of the Apple Watch. It was assumed then that Apple was purging products that might be felt to compete with its own wearable.

But Jawbone Senior Product Manager Jason Donahue said that its UP2 fitness band will be available in Apple Stores shortly, reports Japanese site Macotakara. The statement was made during a product launch in Japan …  Read more