First Apple Store in Turkey to open in Istanbul in April, government requests R&D and Siri improvements

turkey

A Turkish government website reporting on Tim Cook’s meeting with President Abdullah Gül says that the country’s first Apple Store will open in Istanbul in April. Istanbul, which uniquely straddles Europe and Asia, is one of the largest cities in the world by population with over 14 million residents.

In addition to a rumored $4 billion plan to put iPads into Turkish schools, it was said that the two discussed the amount of sales taxes levied on iPhones and iPads and when Apple might include Turkish in the languages supported by Siri with at least some suggesting that the two issues might be linked … Read more

Apple Store visits continue to climb, though growth flattening

overall

Asymco’s Horace Dediu has put together a couple of charts showing that while the number of visitors to Apple’s retail stores continues to climb, the rate of growth is flattening off.

The underlying reason appears to be a slow-down in the rate at which Apple is opening new stores, as the average number of visitors per store has remained stable for the past three years …  Read more

Flurry of new Apple Stores on the way in Japan, France, China, Brazil & Italy

tokyo

Tokyo skyline: vacationadvice101.com

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is planning its first new store in Tokyo since 2005.

Apple plans to open a store in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as March, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by February, the person said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak for Apple.

Tokyo is noted for its high land values. Bloomberg estimating the cost of the land at around $164M with the finished store expected to be worth a staggering $256M …  Read more

Unofficial Apple ‘union’ leader leaves the company tomorrow

Photo: Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Photo: Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Cory Moll, an Apple retail employee who founded an unofficial union for Apple Store staff, is leaving the company tomorrow, having apparently resigned.

tweet

Moll founded the ‘Apple Workers Union’ as a Facebook page and now-defunct website, describing it as “a movement of empowerment to bring change and improvement of working conditions to Apple’s retail stores” in response to what some employees felt to be low pay and limited opportunity for advancement.

Moll tweeted earlier today  that tomorrow would be his final day. In an email to 9to5Mac and others, he said: Read more

Apple tripling franchise stores in India, but Apple Stores still impossible

The Economic Times reported that Apple plans to triple the number of Apple-exclusive franchise stores in India from 65 to 200 by 2015, but the country still won’t see any official Apple Stores.

istore-reliance

Government regulations mean that branded stores must source 30 percent of their stock from Indian companies, something Apple’s yet unable to do. It instead sells via franchisees who operate under their own brands, though generally emulating the look and feel of official stores to some degree … Read more

Apple will exchange third-gen iPads purchased within the past 30 days for a shiny new fourth-gen

Image via The Verge

For those who purchased the third-generation iPad recently, and found themselves dumbfounded when the fourth-generation iPad was announced this afternoon, we have good news: CNET reported that local Apple Stores might replace a third-generation iPads with the new fourth-generation if it was purchased within the last 30 days. It is up to local Apple Stores to make the call if a customer can exchange or not. When speaking to a manager of an Apple Store, it was explained that the policy is on a store-to-store basis.

The manager at the Stockton Street store in San Francisco explained that “this specific store” would allow purchasers of the third-generation iPad to exchange their device for the fourth-generation iPad if purchased within the last 30 days. She emphasized that, unless the recently-purchased iPad showed serious signs of wear-and-tear, the usual 14-day return policy would be waived.

“And what about other stores?” You’ll have to call and find out. She explained, “We can’t speak to other stores’ policies — this is something our store has decided to do.”

The fourth-generation iPad, starting at $499, offers faster performance than the third-generation with a dual-core A6X processor and quad-core graphics. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, expanded LTE chipset, front-facing camera with FaceTime and 720p video capture, ultrafast two-times Wi-Fi, and Lightening connector.

Call your local Apple Store to check—usually stores are pretty flexible. Let us know how it goes.

Additional specs below: