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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Angela Ahrendts finally readies employees for June Apple Watch retail launch in new video

Angela-Ahrendts-Apple-Store-cover

Apple is finally preparing to start selling the Apple Watch in its retail stores after solely offering the Watch via its online store due to constrained supplies. In a private video message to retail employees today, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts and Vice President of Retail Operations Jim Bean informed retail staff that training materials for the retail launch are once again being distributed to employees…

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Apple Watch fitness lead Jay Blahnik holding Apple Store events in Asia & Australia

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Jay Blahnik, one of the lead directors behind the health and fitness functionality in iOS 8 and the Apple Watch, is continuing to host events at Apple Stores. At the end of April, Blahnik held an interview with Christy Turlington Burns at an Apple Store in the United Kingdom, and now Blahnik is making his way to Australia and Asia. Late last week, Blahnik held a Q/A session in Australia with personal trainer Michelle Bridges. Here are videos of Blahnik discussing the importance of walking along with other health tips with Bridges:

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Apple Stores drop AT&T iPhone subsidies this month as Verizon changes coming

Apple Inc Starts To Sell New iPhone 5S And iPhone 5C

Apple today has informed employees of significant changes to how iPhones are sold via AT&T and Verizon Wireless, according to sources. As we reported last month, Apple has indicated that iPhones sold via AT&T at both physical Apple Retail Stores and on the Apple Online Store will move exclusively to Next financing plans this month, in June. This means that a customer who wants to buy a new iPhone on AT&T will no longer be able to do so on a subsidy…

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Apple Stores boost trade-in values for older iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S this month

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

For the month of June, Apple is giving a small boost to its trade-in price values for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S, according to Apple Store sources. Using the Reuse and Recycle program, a customer can bring in an older iPhone model and receive gift card credit toward the purchase of a newer iPhone. Likely in order to spur some new iPhone sales this month, Apple is offering the following improvements to its trade-in pricing:

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