Apple retail gift cards arrive in third-party stores for the holidays, in-store Beats repairs begin tomorrow

Gift-cards-gold-Apple

Apple is making a big push with gift cards for the holidays with the most notable change being gift cards for its retail stores arriving through third-party retailers, according to sources. The company already sold iTunes/App Store gift certificates through a number of retail parters, but it has just recently started selling its Apple Store gift cards outside its own channels as well. Apple Retail will also make changes to repair procedures tomorrow including the introduction of in-store repairs for Beats products.  Read more

Fitbit fitness tracking lineup dropped from Apple Online Store

Apple Watch fitness

Apple Watch will include fitness and health tracking features

Update: Fitbit statement below the fold…

If you’re in the market for a Fitbit device and you’re shopping at the Apple Store, you’ll probably have to shop elsewhere to purchase the fitness tracker. Following report from Re/Code last month that Apple planned to drop the Fitbit line of wearable devices from its Apple Store lineup, Apple has today removed the Fitbit Flex and other Fitbit products from its online store following low inventory over the past week. While its unclear why Apple is no longer selling Fitbit products through its retail channels, on the surface the move is similar to Apple’s decision to discontinue selling Bose headphones and speakers at its retail and online stores.

Read more

Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

shanghai-apple-store

Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ …  Read more

Bose headphones and speakers no longer available from Apple Online Store

Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine at Code Conference via Re/code

It was reported last week that Apple would soon stop selling Bose headphones and speakers at its Apple Store locations. Previously, a variety of Bose headphones and speakers were demoed at each Apple Store location and available for purchase there and online. All Bose speakers and headphones have since been completely removed from sale through the Apple Online Store and several Apple Retail Store locations we’ve contacted have confirmed Bose inventory is no longer available.

Read more

Apple Store goes down to get ready for pre-orders of the new iPads

store

The online Apple Store is down as Apple readies the site to take pre-orders of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

The iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the original Air, adds Touch ID, M8 motion-sensing chip and an AX8 processor that Apple says is 40% faster than the previous model. It also has camera and wifi improvements, and is available in gold …  Read more

Retina iMac now available for purchase as Apple Store comes back online following keynote

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.37.16 PM

The Apple Store online is back up following today’s event and there are a bunch of new products to check out. The new iMac with Retina 5K display is now available for purchase starting at $2499 for the base model. The updated Mac Mini is also available with prices ranging from $499 to $999.

If you’re more interested in the new iPad models announced today, you can check out pricing and configuration info for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 before ordering starts tomorrow. Older iPad models are still available at reduced prices as part of an ever-expanding lineup of tablets.

Read more

Apple reportedly dropping Fitbit wearables from its retail stores

Apple Watch fitness

According to Re/code, Apple may soon drop the Fitbit health tracking devices from its retail stores. The report lacked a specific reason for Apple planning to no longer carry Fitbit bands but noted Fitbit’s lack of support for HealthKit on iOS 8 so far as well as Apple’s own fitness tracking device plans with the release of the Apple Watch in 2015.

Read more

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

ApplePay3

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…

Read more

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

Bose-Apple-Store-demo

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

turkey1

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