iPhone & iPad AppleCare+ purchase window extended to 60 days as standard plan discontinued

Applecare

Apple today will be rolling out a couple of significant changes to its AppleCare support offerings. As we detailed in a report last month regarding Apple’s future plans for AppleCare, Apple will making a significant push for its premium AppleCare+ service. AppleCare+ is the iPhone and iPad protection plan offering that provides support for an additional two years (on top of the free 90 days of support) and support for up to two incidents of accidental damage.

Previously, customers were required to buy the plan within 30 days of purchase of an iPhone or iPad, but today’s change brings that purchase window to 60 days. This gives customers more time to decide if they will need enhanced support for their mobile Apple devices. The AppleCare+ plan costs $99 for both recent iPhone and iPad models. The plan can be purchased both via Apple’s Online Store or inside of official Apple retail stores. The AppleCare+ change is supported in all AppleCare+ regions except Japan, where the timeframe remains 30 days…

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Apple Store visuals revamped with inspiration from recent TV campaigns

photos

IFO Apple Store reports that Apple is revamping its back-lit in-store photo panels, replacing its signature white-background product shots with visuals inspired by its recent advertising. Out are clean, sterile close-ups of the products, and in are colorful visuals showing what people are doing with the products.

The new graphics were photographed like magazine ads, showing the iPad/iPhone being used in actual situations, complete with their surrounding people and places. Their colors, tone and brightness is much richer and darker than the previous graphics …

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Apple launches 2014 Back to School promotion: $100 Apple Store gift cards with Macs, $50 with iPad/iPhone

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 10.26.33

As we reported two weeks ago and again yesterday, Apple has today launched its Back to School promotion for this school season. Like previous years, qualifying student customers will get a free gift card alongside any purchase of a Mac, iPad or iPhone. While last year Apple gave out Mac App Store/iTunes cards, this year’s cards are for Apple Retail Stores.

Buying any Mac makes the buyer eligible for a $100 Apple Store gift card and $50 cards will be distributed alongside iPads and iPhones.

Interested students can buy any Mac (except for the Mac Mini), or any iPad or iPhone currently on sale at the Apple Store, to be eligible for the promotion. Students can also receive education discount pricing where applicable, alongside the gift card giveaway.

Back to School runs from today until September 9th and available in many regions, including the United States, Canada, the UK and many other countries in Europe. Read more

Apple begins hiring for another 3 new retail stores in China

Photo: mshcdn.com

Photo: mshcdn.com

We previously reported that Apple had new retail stores planned for the Chongqing region as well as upcoming locations for Shenyang and Central Hangzhou coming later this year. Today three more stores in China get added to the mix with a job listing on the company’s website hiring for positions in Tianjin, Wuxi, and Zhengzhou in addition to the three stores mentioned above that we already knew about (via Bloomberg).  Read more

Apple Store iPhone trade-in program launches in Italy, coming soon to Australia

Apple has added another market for its Apple Store iPhone “reuse and recycle” trade-in program: Italy. This is indicated by a new panel inside of the Italy Apple Store listings within the official Apple Store app. The app indicates that Apple is offering trade-ins of older iPhones models for up to €220. This converts to roughly 300 U.S. dollars.

According to a source, Apple is also planning to rollout the same program in Australia as soon as this upcoming week. Apple is said to have been training employees in Australia on the program over the course of the last several days.

The trade-in program allows a user of an older iPhone model (3G and up) to bring the phone in and receive gift card credit toward the purchase of an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 4s…

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Apple stores begin selling & activating prepaid T-Mobile iPhones (Update: AT&T GoPhone too)

iPhone-5s-test-drive

Update #2: AT&T’s official statement: 

AT&T GoPhone prepaid service is now available in Apple Retail stores. Prepaid service is also available for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 4S in AT&T and Cricket Wireless stores and online at att.com and at cricketwireless.com.

Update: A contact has confirmed that AT&T’s prepaid GoPhone plans are also supported by iPhones at Apple Retail Store locations as we previously reported to expect…

Following our report earlier this month that Apple was preparing to begin selling iPhones with prepaid plans through its retail stores, today T-Mobile confirmed iPhones with its prepaid service can now be purchased and activated in Apple stores across the country.

To go along with the launch, T-Mobile will offer discounts in the form of $50 off the device for prepaid plans and a $50 iTunes gift card for iPhones activated on its Simple Choice postpaid plans.

T-Mobile customers can now purchase and activate an iPhone with T-Mobile prepaid service in more than 250 Apple stores across the nation. In addition, for a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone with T-Mobile prepaid service can get $50 off the device, and those who buy a new iPhone with a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan can get a $50 iTunes gift card.

T-Mobile’s fine print notes: “Must activate device in-store. Limit 1 device per customer. Offer only valid with activation of  $50 or $70 worth of service. Offer subject to change.” That lines up with our earlier report that Apple stores would offer the prepaid iPhones on -T-Mobile’s’ $50/month (1GB LTE data) and $70/month (5GB LTE data) unlimited data plans. Read more

Apple’s Ahrendts to oversee slew of new China, Italy, U.S. stores as organizational restructuring planned

Seeking to enhance Apple’s retail store divison and bring the customer experience to higher levels, new Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is planning a fundamental restructuring of Apple’s retail stores as she prepares a series of new store openings across the globe for the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015…

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Apple’s annual Back to School promotion likely kicking off at end of June

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Apple could be planning to launch its annual Back to School sales promotion within the next two weeks. Apple Stores, according to several employees, will be changing the front of store glass window displays overnight on June 30th. This is the usual timeframe in which Apple launches a promotion to boost Mac, iPad, and iPhone sales in anticipation of the new school year in the fall.

Last year, the Back to School promotion consisted of $100 App Store gift cards for Mac purchases and $50 cards for iPad and iPhone purchases by students with their Student IDs. Of course, this June 30th window change could be connected to another promotion or a new product, but based on the timing, the Back to School program being in the wings seems most likely.

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Apple says some European iPhone USB adapters ‘may pose a safety risk’, announces free replacement program

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 09.33.50Apple has today announced a replacement program for some European iPhone USB adapters. The company says that it has identified that some USB adapters bundled with iPhones (as well as sold separately) may overheat and ‘pose a safety risk’. The adapter shipped with European models of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s from October 2009 to September 2012.

Affected adapters feature the Model ‘A1300′ designation, found on the bottom of the unit as pictured above. Apple will replace the power adapters for free at its dedicated replacement portal website. A full country list is below.

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Omotesando, Tokyo Apple Store opens with large crowds, Angela Ahrendts in attendance

Apple’s first Tokyo Apple Store opening since 2005 occurred today in the city of Omotesando. The new store features two floors and a fully glass exterior. Apple published a video showing preparations for the store earlier this week. As she promised in a memo to employees earlier today, Angela Ahrendts is on hand for the opening:

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Angela Ahrendts’ first memo to Apple Retail employees: ‘together we will continue to enrich lives and communities’

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

After being on the job for approximately a month and a half, new Apple Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts has sent her first memo to Apple Retail employees. In the memo, Ahrendts discusses Apple’s culture, her visits to stores thus far, and her plans for the future.

“I have spent most of my time getting to know and understand the many functions and teams in Cupertino, along with our short and long term initiatives. I was thrilled to meet many of you at stores in San Francisco and London this month, and I’m looking forward to Tokyo and the Omotesando opening,” Ahrendts said. “Every couple of weeks, we will be visiting stores across the world to see and learn what we do best and hear your thoughts about opportunities ahead,” she added.

We previously profiled Ahrendts plans for transforming Apple retail with a new end-to-end sales experience, mobile payment initiatives, and an increased emphasis on the Chinese consumer. Today’s memo from Ahrendts to employees reiterates many of these points… Read more