Apple launches iPhone and iPad trade-in program in China Apple Stores

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Apple today officially launched a version of its Apple Store iPhone trade-in program for China, as noted on the individual store pages for China’s Apple Retail Stores.

As is the case in the United States and several other countries with Apple Stores, the program allows a user to bring in an older iPhone model and trade in that device for gift card credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone; the program will most likely not allow a customer to trade in an iPhone toward the purchase of an Apple Watch. But as contrasted with the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy, the new China program is limited to iPhones and iPads, and will not support non-Apple smartphones.

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Apple launches in-store Android trade-in program to boost iPhone sales

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In line with our report from earlier this month, Apple today launched its first trade-in program for non-iPhones in its Apple Retail Stores. The program allows users of select Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry phones to bring in their devices and receive credit toward the immediate purchase of a new iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus (but not an Apple Watch). Apple first launched its standard iPhone Reuse and Recycle trade-in program in 2013, and the company expanded the feature to the iPad last year. Apple made today’s announcement on the individual retail store pages, indicating that the program is so far now available in the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy, and multiple retail sources say that the program has indeed gone live today. A version of the iPhone trade-in program that does not support non-iPhones is launching this week in China.

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Apple Store revamp for Apple Watch revealed: ‘magical’ display tables, demo loops, sales process

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While the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition has been receiving a lot of attention due to its premium pricing and aesthetic, Apple will sell far more of the lower-priced Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport models, and has created a different customer journey for those customers, according to sources briefed on the plans. Most of the sales process will be familiar to buyers of other products from the Apple Store, but a number of steps are different, including the process of visiting a “magical” display case, trying on different models, playing with demo units, considering Apple Watch accessories, and actually finalizing the purchase. Below, we detail the entire customer experience for the upcoming Apple Watch launch…

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PSA: Customers can start booking Apple Watch try-on appointments on April 10

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While some had assumed that it would be possible to book an Apple Watch try-on appointment ahead of the April 10th Apple Store preview kickoff, several Apple employees have told 9to5Mac that the booking process will actually begin on the 10th — the same day appointments will commence. Customers will be able to book 15 minute appointments, which are not necessarily required, via the Apple website on a computer or via the Apple Store iOS app. Apple Store employees have been instructed to promote the Apple Store app during in-store purchases leading up to the 10th, which Apple hopes will result in more booked appointments to try on the Apple Watch. Earlier this week, we profiled how Apple Store employees will begin providing customers fashion advice when the Apple Watch launches on April 24th. Thanks, FruitStandCrazy.

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Apple’s sales overhaul for Apple Watch will focus on building trust, offering fashion views, upselling bands

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The job of Apple Retail Store employees will begin changing in profound ways next month. In order to showcase and sell the Apple Watch, retail employees will be trained to provide personal fashion and styling advice to customers, according to employees briefed on the plans. Until now, Apple Retail has been tasked with recommending iPads, iPhones and Macs with few styling options aside from limited color options.

Apple is pushing for retail employees to initiate conversations that build trust, enabling the employee to serve as a valued fashion advisor during the purchase process, similarly to how traditional watches are sold. Apple Watch sales training programs will take place for Apple retail staff over the course of the next two weeks, teaching entirely new sales techniques to encourage iPhone upgrades, assist with gifting, and guide customers in watch and strap choices.

Below, we detail how employees will provide fashion advice to customers and Apple’s multi-part plan for selling an Apple Watch.

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Apple Store retail plan for Watch: 15 min. appointments, 10+ try-on stations, Experts for Edition

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Apple will introduce several major initiatives to ready its retail stores for the Apple Watch’s launch in April, according to sources briefed on the upcoming changes. Starting on April 10th, Apple will allocate 15 minutes per customer for in-store try-on appointments, using 10 or more try-on stations to manage what’s expected to be a steady flow of customers interested in having hands-on time with the Watch. While customers will not necessarily be required to have an appointment, they will be time-limited and guided during the hands-on experience. Additionally, they will be given the opportunity to place a reservation at the time of try-on for a particular model, and make a follow-up appointment to pick the watch up during the April 24th launch date. Stores will also have launch day stock for walk-in appointments.

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Opinion: Understanding the extended period between the Apple Watch event and next month’s launch

Christy Turlington Burns & Tim Cook

Apple has shown off the Apple Watch at a special event now on two occasions: first after the iPhone 6 last September, then after the new 12-inch MacBook last week. We know how the Apple Watch will look, how much it will cost, when we can buy it and for how much. Many developers are ready to ship apps for the Apple Watch, and we’re already seeing an accessory market for Apple’s wearable.

Since last week’s event, I’ve been thinking about why Apple might have chosen to have its second Apple Watch unveiling more than a month before people can actually buy the device. My conclusion? It’s complicated, but mostly necessary considering the complexity of actually buying the right watch.

Apple’s motivation is to ensure that you have an iPhone 5 or later before next month, and that you have the answer to a number of questions including how many millimeters your wrist measures if you plan to pre-order before trying on an Apple Watch. And because we know how major iPhone launches go with getting the exact model you want, pre-ordering will be the first opportunity to secure the Apple Watch of your choice or risk waiting even longer. Read more

Apple to launch Android device trade-in program to encourage iPhone upgrades

iPhone 6 in Apple Store - Reuters

iPhone 6 in Apple Store – Reuters

In a move to boost iPhone sales, Apple will soon introduce a new recycling and trade-in program that will accept non-Apple smartphones, notably including Android and BlackBerry devices, in exchange for gift cards to be used toward the purchase of new iPhones. In continuing to court Android switchers, Apple will use a similar system to the one it uses to repurchase iPhones, whereby Apple Retail Store employees determine trade-in values for devices by considering their cosmetic and functional condition, according to multiple sources…

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You WON’T need an appointment to try on Apple Watch in retail stores (but expect to wait)

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How will Apple Watch be displayed in retail stores next month? Apple’s own “try on by appointment” language led many people to believe appointments would be required to actually go hands-on with Watches before making a purchase. 9to5Mac has confirmed, however, that try on appointments won’t be necessary and that retail staff plan to accommodate walk-in customers wishing to try on an Apple Watch. Read more

Apple Watch Shop signage goes up at Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo

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At the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Apple is building a store specifically for the Apple Watch on the ground floor. Macotakara thinks it might be a permanent fixture because it is listed in the mall directory below.

Japan is one of the 9 countries where the Apple Watch will launch on April 24th. Earlier this week we saw the size of the Apple Watch Store at Galleries Lafayette in Paris and at London Selfridges. Apple also began advertising for its Apple Watch in its traditional stores this week.

This will take some getting used to. Imagine a world where there is an Apple Store on one side of the mall and an Apple Watch store on the other like so many Starbucks.  Read more

Yesterday’s Apple data outage left some Apple Stores badly hit, credit card terminals offline

The Apple Store in Birmingham, England – one of the stores affected

The Apple Store in Birmingham, England – one of the stores affected

Yesterday’s large-scale data outage left a number of Apple Stores in Europe offline, reports Business Insider.

For about two hours this morning, employees couldn’t check in to work, stores couldn’t make sales, and Genius Bar appointments couldn’t be kept. Employees couldn’t check email until 3 pm London time.

The issues meant that store staff were unable to use their card machines to take payments, leading stores to resort to old-fashioned mechanical paper machines (photo below) …  Read more