Apple Pay setup detailed & retailers begin training as service launches at Apple HQ

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The launch of Apple Pay, Apple’s NFC and Touch ID-based mobile payment solution, is upon us. Apple has begun preparing for the launch by kicking off Apple Pay training programs for its own group of retail store employees and by working with retailers to prepare for the debut later this month. The training materials, shared by a reliable source, for the Apple Pay launch at Apple retail stores have also detailed some new specifics regarding the Apple Pay setup and transaction processes both on customer iPhones and in Apple retail stores…

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Apple reportedly removing Bose products from retail stores as NFL bans & Bose sues Beats

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Bose headphones and audio products could soon get the boot from Apple retail stores, according to a report from MacRumors citing “a reliable source.”

While Apple’s acquisition of Beats would seem like the obvious reason behind replacing the many Bose headphones and speakers currently used with iOS and Mac demo units, the report also claims that Apple will be removing Bose products from store shelves in addition to the demo units. Read more

Second Apple Store in Turkey appears to be nearing completion

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Apple’s second retail store in Turkey appears to be finally nearing completion, as Apple branding has been added to the black cladding on the storefront in photos posted by Apple Toolbox as the company confirmed its plans to open the store.

Apple opened its first store in the country back in April, on the European side of the city, first announced during a meeting between Tim Cook and President Abdullah Gül. Istanbul straddles the European and Asian continents, and the second store is located in the Asian side, in a shopping mall called Akasya …  Read more

Tim Cook visits Palo Alto Apple Store for iPhone 6 launch as Angela Ahrendts welcomes Sydney

Apple’s leadership is out in full force today for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch across the globe.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been spotted at the company’s local Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, to be a part of the crowd and watch the new iPhone debut. Cook reportedly joked with the crowd saying he got the new iPhone several months ago. As evident by Twitter, the Apple CEO has shared in the excitement by taking selfies with the crowd.

On the other side of the world, Apple’s recently appointed SVP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts helped kick off the new iPhones launch in Sydney, Australia, where the iPhone went on sale at 8 am local time several hours ago.

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This is Apple’s retail store gameplan for iPhone 6/Plus launch

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The big day is almost here. After months of speculation, a momentous keynote from Tim Cook, and record preorders, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will officially hit store shelves this Friday. Apple is going to great lengths to ensure that Friday runs smoothly for its customers and employees.

We’ve tracked down Apple’s retail gameplan so you’ll know what to expect on launch day including what percentage of iPhones Apple Stores are required to hold back, refreshment times (Starbucks usually) and Personal Setup details …
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Apple’s employee reservation system seemingly excludes iPhone 6 Plus, lends weight to short supply rumors

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Apple has advised store staff that those working overnight or morning shifts on Friday will be able to reserve an iPhone 6, but not a 6 Plus, if a tweeted photo is genuine (and we have evidence it is). This would lend further weight to longstanding rumors and overwhelming evidence that the 5.5-inch model would be in short supply …  Read more

Apple to offer in-store pickup option for iPhone 6 preorders

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Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 will start at 12:01 a.m. PDT and will be available to purchase in Apple Stores on Sept. 19th, 2014, but what isn’t widely known is that it looks like Apple is kicking off Personal Pickup availability starting with preorders as well. This means that you’ll be able to preorder an iPhone 6 and select a store in your area and pick it up on launch day….

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Apple and Disney Stores upgrading iBeacons and NFC scanners ahead of iPhone 6 launch

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Apple and longtime partner Disney this week are bolstering their stores with upgraded versions of iBeacon sensors and NFC readers, according to sources. Apple Stores have had iBeacons stationed throughout showroom floors for several months as a way to pinpoint exactly where a customer is within the store. This allows Apple to better serve customers by providing relevant sales information to their iPhones and iPads while in the store. The upgrades happening this week within Apple Stores place several new Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons across stores to make location tracking within the store even more accurate.

In addition to providing relevant information for the Apple Store app, iBeacons can be useful for NFC mobile payment technologies as a form of authentication. If Apple knows where a customer is in the store to a precise degree, it can ensure that is it wirelessly connecting to the correct iPhone for mobile payments. As has been widely reported, the new iPhone 6 and upcoming Apple wearable device will include new wireless sensors (including a near field communication chipset) to conduct mobile payments with credit cards stored in an upgraded Passbook application.

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Apple Store app redesigned, gains upcoming events feature, synchronized shopping

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Ahead of its major media event next week, Apple has issued a significant update to its Apple Store shopping iOS app. The first addition is a complete redesign for the iPhone and iPod touch application’s interface. The new design is more in-line with the recently released iPad variant. Speaking of the iPad version, the tablet-optimized layout is now a universal bundle (single download) with the iPhone/iPod touch version, and it has also gained support for making Apple Store One to One reservations. The app also has a new Stores section to search for upcoming events at local Apple Stores. There is also a new icon. Perhaps the most significant new feature is support for synchronizing shopping between iOS devices and desktop computers. For example, you can start shopping on your Mac and continue via the app on your iPhone. Apple (rightfully so) doesn’t want to a miss a single iPhone 6 or iWatch/iBand sale.

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Former Apple SVP of Retail Ron Johnson talks Apple and Microsoft Stores, offers surprising praise for Surface 3

Ron Johnson at Apple store opening

Former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail (then ousted JCPenney CEO) Ron Johnson made a somewhat rare public-facing appearance on Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast. The discussion comes in at just under half an hour and features the former head of Apple Retail discussing his experience with leading the Apple Store as well as the challenge for up-and-coming startup brands to afford brick-and-mortar retail channels, but more interesting from an Apple perspective is Johnson’s praise for Microsoft’s retail stores and the Surface 3 tablet that the company heavily markets against Apple’s MacBook Air.

“I think the Microsoft stores have succeeded much more than popular opinion. […] I think it’s really helped, for instance, the Surface 3. It’s a really great product and we all know that. Everyone who has tried a Surface 3 is pretty blown away with the software, the interaction, how it can be a tablet and a computer, its part of the future. Without those stores that Surface 3 wouldn’t be where it is today.”

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Apple Store promoting upcoming iTunes Festival w/ pins and wristbands, music-related events

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After bringing the iTunes Festival to the US earlier this year at Austin SXSW, Apple’s annual music event in London kicking off next week has been the focus of much of the company’s attention recently. Earlier this week, Apple’s newly acquired Beats Music began promoting the iTunes Festival with a contest within the app to attend the festival.

Apple will also use its retail stores to further promote the event with iTunes Festival Pins to be worn by retail employees to “spark conversation about the event,” according to an internal document obtained by 9to5Mac. Retail employees will also receive iTunes Festival wristbands and redemption codes for music. Select Apple Stores will also host “music-related events” with local artists, according to the document. Read more

That Apple Store in the United Arab Emirates could be the world’s largest

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Middle East luxury lifestyle magazine Edgar claims “insider knowledge” that the planned Apple Store in the United Arab Emirates will be the largest in the world, and will be located in a huge shopping mall in Dubai.

US-based tech giant Apple will open its biggest store in the world at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, EDGAR can exclusively reveal […] Our undisclosed source said that the store – which will be the biggest Apple has ever built – was originally planned to replace the current cinema complex …

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