Apple Ship to Store goes live in San Francisco

Yesterday it was revealed that Apple would begin to offer a ship to store option on its online store and it appears that it has just gone online. We heard it would be hitting San Francisco first:

…now we’re hearing it’s going live tonight/tomorrow (depending on your time zone) in the San Francisco area. The pilot program will reach other parts of the Bay Area within the next couple of days or so, and will gradually make its way throughout the United States over the upcoming weeks and months.

As you can see from the screenshot above, it is now live. Apple Store online shoppers now have the option of sending their item(s) to a physical Store in San Francisco. Others soon will follow leading up to the holidays.

Can you imagine how great this will be for the new Apple Store inside Grand Central Terminal?

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Spyshots of the new Grand Central Terminal Apple flagship store

Update: Training for Apple Store Grand Central employees began today at a hotel in Times Square,will end Nov 11, ahead of end of Nov opening. (thanks @iDannyOcean)

In August, we had the opportunity to do a thorough walkthrough of the Grand Central Apple Store space (video above) as construction was just getting kicked off. Shortly thereafter, Apple built a wall around the space so that onlookers can’t get a sneak preview of what is to come (though the renderings, below give you a pretty good idea what Apple has in mind).

Today, a tipster from the MTA has provided us with a progress report of sorts. The pictures, show below and taken yesterday, show that construction is well on its way but as we near its anticipated November launch, still show significant work is left to be done. Talking to one of the construction workers, our source said that Apple plans to have it open for Black Friday, if not sooner.

Remember, this is only one part of the huge space which is said to make it one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Flagship Apple Stores in the world. Additional images below:

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Apple returns homepage to normal following ‘Celebrate Steve’ day on campus, buys RememberingSteveJobs.com

Apple’s homepage returned to normal with the iPhone 4S headlining last night (US only atm). Apple had the Steve Jobs memorial picture up for two weeks following his passing.

There is still a Remembering Steve link at the bottom of the page which leads to the thousands of words of condolence taken from the millions of submissions following his death. In fact, it appears that Apple has purchased the RememberingSteveJobs.com domain.

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Signage indicates that Apple Stores will close for three hours today (Update: White curtains go up)

As we reported over the weekend and others reported yesterday, Apple Store will be closed for three hours today to view the celebration of Steve Jobs’ life stream coming from AppleHQ.

Thanks Danny, Steven

Thanks

Update: White curtains going up everywhere for privacy. Gallery:

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More details concerning iPhone 4S availability and reservations

Today Apple debuted their iPhone 4S retail availability reservation system via www.apple.com/retail/iphone/ and the Apple Store iOS app. 9to5Mac has received a bit more clarification concerning the reservation process and walk-in availability from the Apple Store Daily Download. Each evening from 9 p.m. to Midnight, hopeful iPhone 4S buyers can log on to apple.com or the Apple Store app to check model availability and reserve their iPhone 4S for the next business day. When an individual successfully creates a reservation they will have from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the next day to pick up their reservation. Apple stores will cease all iPhone 4S sales at 8:30 p.m. to allow ample time to prepare for the nightly reservation process.

Contrary to previous reports, the iPhone 4S will be available for walk-in traffic as well as reserved at Apple retail stores. After 6 p.m. all unclaimed reservations will be forfeited and available for walk-in purchasers to buy. Select stores will also be making unclaimed inventory from the night before available from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. each day. We hope everybody who wants to get their hands on Apple’s fastest iPhone yet are able to soon!

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Wraps come off Flagship Hong Kong Apple Store at IFC center (update: opens Sept. 24!)

We’re hearing it is perhaps weeks from being open but this evening you are seeing the enormity of this store in Hong Kong’s IFC shopping complex.  That is a four story tall red Apple which spans three lanes of traffic for those measuring at home.

Update: Reader Joe send in this shot from inside:

Update 2: Engadget has nabbed some higher-resolution pictures. They also say the store opens September 24th!

Potential Apple store in London financial district threatened by “rights to light” laws

While Apple’s London Covent Garden and Regent Street stores have given the company a prominent presence in the city centre, a proposed development at 100 Cheapside in London’s uber-rich financial district may be threatened by neighbours claiming rights to sunlight.

ifoAppleStore got their hands on a rendering of the proposed development which would cover 87,000 square-feet of office space, and 13,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. A report from Reuters notes that Apple is currently interested in moving in. Judging by the mock up above, an Apple retail space would fit nicely in that large windowed, street-level storefront.

However, it looks like if Apple is really interested in making it happen they might have to throw some of those billions to appease neighbours and get the job done. Reuters reports: Read more

Apple’s 5th Ave. Store evacuated due to earthquake [Image]

 

customers and employees waiting for the Fifth Avenue Store to re-open

You might have heard there was a little trembler on the east coast earlier today.  Perhaps due to the renovation of the glass cube overhead, we’re hearing that the whole 5th Avenue Store was evacuated and both customers and employees were relocated to Central Park while the structure was checked for damages (above).

Better safe than sorry. Read more

Priciest Apple Store in the world set to open next month in Hong Kong (Video)


(Thanks Brian Fu)

As five Apple Stores open up today including Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall (Anchorage, Alaska), Fashion Place (Murray, Utah), Southland (Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia), Conestoga: (RIM HQ Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) I Gigli: (Florence, Italy), the biggest store of the quarter and possibly the most expensive Apple Store in history is getting its wraps taken off in Hong Kong’s IFC this week.

Apple COO Tim Cook mentioned that the Hong Kong Store was set to open this quarter, along with 30 others in the Earnings Call last month.


Thanks Tom Read

We’ve heard from two sources, one a credit fulfillment processor, that the grand opening is set for September 24th.  It spans six lanes of traffic and three-plus floors of Hong Kong’s IFC building.

Update: Richard Lai got some pictures inside this-a-way.

Another monster Hong Kong Apple Store is set to open in Causeway Bay later this year.  Another shot below (Readers, please send more!): Read more

UK Apple Stores remove their inventory in the face of continuing riots

We’re getting images in from around the UK of Apple Stores having removed their inventory after closing of business. The concern is the ongoing riots that have plagued London and now the greater UK for the past 3 days.

Above: Due To The Riots In England, The Apple Store In Liverpool One have moved all stock up stairs from the show floor.

Even resellers are getting into the action. Canterbury, Kent, below:

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More on the way, unfortunately. Read more

Apple releases plans to improve iconic New York Cube

Macrumors notes that the boarded up Fifth Avenue Apple Store now reveals plans to improve the appearance of the cube by using “bigger, seamless” panes of glass.  The number of panes will drop from 90 to just 15 (3 per side).

We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.

The upgrade reportedly costs $6 million. We’d be very surprised if the renovation isn’t complete for the October iPhone 5 launch.

Apple is also expected to have its Grand Central location, just 15 or so blocks south, open for the holidays and is also doing an upgrade to its Soho Store.

Update: The Gothamist posts a rendering:

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