Apple commissions another artistic mural for upcoming Chongqing, China retail store

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Last week Apple posted a video showing how the calligraphy mural painted at one of its upcoming Chinese retail outlets was created just days before that store opened to the public.

Today the company has posted a new video of a second mural, this time at its new Chongqing location. The store features a unique cylindrical entrance, and Apple commissioned two artists—a China-based painter and US-based photographer—to collaborate on the artwork.

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Angela Ahrendts recruiting U.S. employees for China as new stores & initiatives revealed

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Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts is continuing to go all in on growth in China. In video messages to employees in recent days and weeks, Ahrendts has been recruiting employees from United States-based Apple Retail stores to relocate to China to help build up Apple’s retail efforts in the region. In a note to employees late last week, sources say that Ahrendts reported that approximately 200 Apple retail workers from the U.S. have already offered to make the move. Ahrendts added that the offer to move to China “has no expiration date because as the business grows, our needs will only become greater, so as your personal and professional life changes, just always keep China at the top of your mind, because we’re going to need you…”

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Apple now selling more iPhones in China than in US, say analysts

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Tim Cook said in October that it was “just a matter of time” before China overtook the USA as its biggest market, and it seems that time may be arriving sooner than expected – at least as far as the iPhone is concerned. The Financial Times reports that analysts expect tomorrow’s Q1 earnings call to confirm that Apple sold more iPhones in China than in the US.

Analysts at UBS estimate that China accounted for 36 per cent of iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter, compared with 24 per cent for the US. During the same period last year, 29 per cent of units were sold in the US and 22 per cent were in China, UBS said.

The view was supported by Creative Strategies, which forecast that Apple has sold around 2M more iPhones in China than in the US in the final calendar quarter of 2014 (Apple’s financial Q1) …  Read more

Westlake Apple Store officially opens its doors in Hangzhou, China (Photos)

Westlake Apple Store, Hangzhou, China

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the grand opening photo via Twitter

Apple’s latest massive retail store—the Westlake Apple Store in Hangzhou, China—had its opening to the public today as officially scheduled. Naturally, much attention has been paid to what is now the largest Apple Store in Asia with Apple teasing the store’s grand opening earlier this month with a magnificent mural by artist Wang Dongling. You can see more shots from the scene around the new Westlake Apple Store below: Read more

Apple hires Burberry’s VP of Digital Retail initiatives ahead of Watch launch

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Apple has made yet another key hire from the fashion industry: Chester Chipperfield, the Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design at Burberry. Chipperfield was “responsible for User Experience and Digital Design for all channels” and was “highly involved in digital retail initiatives” at Burberry, according to his LinkedIn profile. He confirmed the move to Apple on his profile as well as on Twitter

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Apple teases soon-to-open Apple Store in Hangzhou, China, with stunning mural

Update: Apple has posted a version of the video with English subtitles on YouTube (embedded above).

Apple is certainly not thinking small when it comes to China, with 25 new retail stores promised within a two-year period, and its latest soon-to-open store in Hangzhou features a massive mural covering the entire front of the store. The store is due to open on Saturday, January 24th, the second of five new stores Angela Ahrendts said would be opening by the Chinese New Year on February 19th.

Featuring a poem written around 2000 years ago celebrating the importance of the city—a provincial capital—the stunning calligraphy was hand-painted by Wang Dongling, a famous modern calligrapher. Apple has released a video of its creation …  Read more

Apple planning 5 new Chinese retail store openings by Feb, hiring for 15 new locations

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Apple is committed to its promise of expanding its retail presence in China from 15 to 40 stores within two years. Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts told Chinese website Xinhua on Thursday that the iPhone maker is gearing up to open five new stores in roughly five weeks.

“We are opening five new stores before the Chinese New Year this year. Four of the stores are in brand new cities for us,” said Ahrendts in a telephone interview with Xinhua. The new locations will be opened in time for China‘s Spring Festival, a popular shopping season that commemorates the Chinese New Year, on February 19. Read more

Apple creating a smaller version of iconic Shanghai store as promised Chinese retail expansion continues

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Pudong, Shanghai, store left; latest Chongqing store right

Apple is creating in Chongqing, China, what appears to be a smaller version of its iconic glass cylinder Apple Store in Shanghai. ifo Apple Store shared a series of photos as the wraps came off what is set to be Apple’s third retail store in the Chongqing region, which has a total population of more than 28 million people.

Workers dismantled the huge steel structure that has been covering the entrance for nearly the past year, revealing a 30-foot tall glass structure that will lead to the underground store. The entrance is set in a plaza and surrounded by tall buildings, a setting similar to the [Shanghai] store, but on a smaller scale.

The first Apple Store in Chongqing opened in July of last year, and a second one is under construction. More photos of the latest store can be seen below …  Read more

iPhone 6 owners reporting that cards cannot be added back into Apple Pay after a restore [Update: resolved]

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Update: Users in the thread are now reporting that the problem has been resolved.

Multiple iPhone 6 owners are reporting in an Apple Support Communities thread that they are unable to add cards back into Apple Pay after their phone has been restored – whether as a new phone or from a backup. According to reports there, Apple has been able to resolve the issue only by replacing the phone.

I just left the Apple Store. They couldn’t diagnose the issue and we did a restore there in store and the problem persisted. The solution was to swap the hardware […]

I ended up going to the Apple Store and going to the genius bar. They proceeded to do all the thing I already tried. After they did a restore and set up as a new phone and saw they it didn’t work they went in the back and brought out a new phone. I fired up the phone and went thru steps to add my cards to Apple pay and everything worked. So getting a new phone fixed the issue.

The symptoms seem to suggest that the secure enclave is not being completely cleared, despite notifications from banks that cards have been removed at the point when the phone was restored …  Read more

Russian Apple Online Store returns … with iPhone 6 prices now 35% higher compared to a week ago

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After a week of being inactive, the Russian Apple Online Store is now back online with customers freely able to purchase products from the site once again. Apple abruptly stopped trading in the region last week due to significant currency exchange rate fluctuations that meant the company had to readjust prices.

Apple has indeed raised prices significantly. The iPhone 6 now costs 53,990 Rubles for a 16 GB base model. This is a 35% increase in the Russian sales price; the model cost 39 990 Rubles last week. 53,990 Rubles is approximately worth $980 dollars. The 16 GB iPhone 6 lists for $649, excluding taxes.

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