At least some Apple Stores will hold back some iPad Air inventory for Personal Pickup, later purchases

ipad-air-deal-walmart-9to5mac

While Apple Stores across the United States are expected to have significant supplies of the iPad Air, some Apple Stores have been told to allocate a smaller number of devices for purchases handled in the early morning.

For example, depending on the store and market size, a few dozen to several dozen units of each model in every color and internet-connectivity option will be allocated for purchases before 12 noon.

Once the store-specific sales number for morning purchases is hit, some stores will not offer those models until later in the day or via Personal Pickup…

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Apple Store employees get overzealous with Iranian export restriction, borders on racial profiling [Update]

UPDATE: On Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and National Iranian American Council called upon Apple to change its policy and take appropriate steps to guarantee further enforcement of the policy will not impede on Iranian’s rights in the United States.

The press releases:

9to5Mac contacted Apple and the councils and will update again if they issue a comment. 

An Apple Store in Georgia apparently refused to sell iOS devices to an Alpharetta woman and her uncle, because they spoke Farsi to each other.

Sahar Sabet, 19, is a United States citizen and student at the University of Georgia. She and her uncle were recently shopping for an iPad and iPhone at an Apple Store in the North Pointe Mall. They were conversing in Farsi, a Persian-Iranian language, when an employee overheard them and asked what language they were speaking.

According to WSBTV, the woman answered, but then the Apple employee said, “I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations.”

Another customer, Zack Jafarzadeh, apparently received the same treatment at a different Apple Store in the Perimeter Mall in Atlanta. He recently accompanied a friend who tried to buy an iPhone.

“We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that. He was just speaking full-fledged Farsi and the representative came back and denied our sale,” said Jafarzadeh to WSBTV. “I would say if you’re trying to buy an iPhone, don’t tell them anything about Iran. That would be your best bet.”

Sabet returned to the North Point Apple Store on Monday with WSBTV’s Amy Napier Viteri, and they caught the same employee describing an Apple policy on camera that allegedly prohibits the sale of products to Iranians. A manager even presented the duo with the policy, which said the exportation, sale, or supply of Apple products from U.S. to Iran is not allowed without prior authorization by the federal government. The manager explained Apple Stores have to “rely on customers to be honest.”

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Retina MacBook Pros selling on eBay for $1700 premium over retail due to scarcity

The new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is either out of stock, coming soon, on pre-order, or experiencing delayed shipping on almost every retail website, but it appears one seller is offering the latest Cupertino notebook on eBay—for roughly $1,700 more than Apple’s asking price.

Check it out: Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch MC975LL/A (June, 2012) with Retina Display

The above eBay deal comes with same day, free shipping and includes insurance (if this is even considered a deal). Another eBay listing offers the base model MacBook Pro for $3,199 USD, but another $95.80 USD is required for USPS priority shipping from Canada.

It is probably safe to say these puppies are in high demand, as evident by the exorbitant price markups.
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Apple in early discussions to open stores inside of Sam’s Club locations

Apple Store inside of a Best Buy

Apple and Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club are in early discussions to widen their already existing partnership. Sam’s Club currently sells Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines within its large retail chain, but the two corporate giants are looking to take their business relationship to the next level. According to sources, Apple is considering an expansion of its Apple Store-in-store program to the 47 United States retail warehouse chain.

Sources said Apple is looking to expand its program beyond Best Buy and Target in the United States, and Sam’s Club is one of the retail chains that Apple is in early discussions with. An Apple-store-in-store typically consists of a mini-Apple Store type setup within a larger store. For example, the store-in-stores in Best Buy consist of Apple-like displays and a large table with all of Apple’s products as typically seen in standalone Apple Stores.

Sam’s Club and Apple are not only in early discussions for the Apple store-in-store program, but a backup plan is also being discussed. This plan consists of Sam’s Club simply selling Apple’s Macs, but without the Apple Store features. Since the discussions are still early, sources could not comment on a timeframe for such partnerships, but we know the store-in-stores will likely not be coming soon—or at all if the discussions fall flat. While Sam’s Club is said to be considered, it is unknown if its parent company Walmart is, too.

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MacMall drops Mac desktop prices down to lowest available

From 9to5Toys.com:

MacMall offers 9to5 readers an additional 3 percent off their lowest price new Mac Desktop products at checkout which yield lowest prices currently available in the U.S. with free shipping.  Mac Minis start at $567.99 and iMacs start at $1105.79.

Your only better option would be to buy a refurb iMac at the online Apple Store for $999.

Speaking of Refurbs at the Apple Store, iPad 2s are in stock again at $419, which is a solid savings of $80 (you might want to wait a few months for an update, however!).

Other current Apple Store refurbs:

MacBook Air: Starting at $799
MacBook Pros: Starting at $929
Thunderbolt Display: $849
Airports: Starting at $85  Read more

Grand Central Apple Store bonus: Free Wifi


As a Grand Central commuter, Late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon articulates my feelings on two great things coming together.

But here’s an awesome bonus that offsets the added foot-traffic that stands between me and my train: Free speedy Wifi which stretches throughout the main concourse.  It is fast and it goes way beyond the store (even in some trains!).  I wonder what was required by its contract with the MTA and which is Apple just being cool. Read more

Grand Central Apple Store officially open for business, celebrities, [video]

We’ve had a ton of coverage on what has become today Apple’s new flagship retail outlet. At 10am this morning, the 23,000 square foot Grand Central Terminal store finally opened doors for business and big crowds filled the concourse of the Terminal ahead of grand opening. Apple is handing out 4,000 black T-shirts with “Apple Store, Grand Central” graphic resembling a train arrival board, similar to that used as a blockade prior to the opening.

Our Seth Weintraub went to film the store and you can see him in the clip above getting out of the VIP elevator at the top, wearing a press pass (more clips after the break). Also, make sure to check out the below gallery, providing a glimpse of just how massive and breathtaking this new store is. Mind you, just the perfect scene for one of Samsung’s adverts bashing line waiters.

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See the first image in the slideshow? Yeah, that’s actor Michael J. Fox. Cool or what? We also have a Whoopi Goldberg showing and another featuring Gary Allen (a guy with the beard) who runs ifoapplestore.com, a site dedicated to Apple’s retail strides. As you recall, a couples days ago 9to5Mac got some shots from inside the store and Apple confirmed the store would indeed be open from 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm Saturdays, and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. The store has 315 employees, two genius bars, the new 15-minute Express Workshop and also offers Personal Pickup, among other features.

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Apple’s massive Grand Central retail store draws big crowds ahead of 10am grand opening

An incredible new Apple store inside New York City’s landmark Grand Central Terminal – one of Apple’s largest stores in the world – is set to open this morning at 10am and already hundreds have queued up. The Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt snapped up the above shot showing staffers on the balconies above Grand Central Terminal and hundreds of fans stretching all the way down one track and part-way back.

The company will treat avid fans to cool perks, such as 4,000 black shirts with “Apple Store, Grand Central” spelled out in lettering, resembling a train arrival board. The Mac maker also posted the below press shot on its PR site. A dedicated page for the 23,000-square-foot store on Apple’s web site reveals the store work hours Monday through Friday from 7am to 9pm, 10am to 7pm on Saturdays and on Sundays from 11am to 6pm. Here’s a glimpse of the excitement.

The store’s extended holiday hours plus another video are right after the break. Our own Seth Weintraub is on hand so stay tuned for more updates, coming soon.

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Grand Central Apple Store Media Day interior shots hit the web as Apple makes first official statement


Image by jennydeluxe

Grand opening of Apple’s massive new store inside New York City’s Grand Central Station is scheduled for Friday, December 9 at 10am, but today at 10am is a “media day”. Ahead of the event, first images of the store’s interior are cropping up all over the web. UPDATE: Apple just released a press statement formally announcing the new store. The new outlet is open from 7am to 9pm, Monday through Friday, Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm as we reported last week.

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The release also mentions 315 employees that work at the store, providing services such as Personal Pickup, two Genius Bars, the new 15-minute Express Workshops that offer “tips and tricks in a streamlined format to serve customers on a tight schedule” and of course the EasyPay system via the updated Apple Store app which lets folks “scan and pay for accessories with their iPhone”. More images, full release and another video by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt right after the break.

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Apple’s Black Friday Retail Store Sales were “off the charts”


We obviously had to white out numbers above – From Apple’s Retail inventory system.

A source inside Apple Retail has shared with us the numbers for Apple’s Black Friday sales event.  Black Friday is always huge shopping day and Apple forecasted at least 4X sales for the day.  However, because Apple did have the lowest prices on big ticket items like the iPad, it blew away forecasts by 7PM and unsurprisingly had its biggest sales day of all time..

Apple Retail was forecast and broke Retail sales records all over the country today, this is from [redacted] today, the forecast today is more than 4 times what we normally do. We broke the forecast by 7pm.

MacBook Air sales were also particularly strong according to our source.

Apple Store discounts are extremely rare and with more Stores open than ever before, the temptation was too much for many. Read more

Apple Store Doorbuster finds familiar brochure, chipper salespeople

This brochure might look familiar but it is now out in the open.  Our leak earlier this week was obviously spot on.

Early visitors to the Apple Store noted that there was a lot of traffic but things were orderly and with the help of “EasySteal”, they were in and out in a matter of minutes and saved lots of money.  Hit up our Black Friday 2011 Price Guide to get the best deals on Apple hardware and accessories.

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